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AUTHOR OF: "Education in Muslim India", " Mediaeval India 

"Some Cultural Aspects of Muslim r.ule in India' 1 



Ihe Hon'ble Sir ABDUL QADIR, Kt. 




First Edit*',n Price Rs, 5-net 

Cvtivrixht Reserved I, the Author 

Published by 

/Cissa Khani, 
Peshawar City (N.-W. F. P.) 

Printed by Mirza Mullmfaad Sadiq 
at the Ripon Printing Press, Bull Road, L "hore 





ONE should not raise one's pen to write history 
unless one is equipped with a thorough knowledge of 
the original sources and a clear conscience. In order 
to obtain correct information, it is absolutely essen- 
tial to approach history with an unprejudiced mind 
and without preconceived notions. The evidence 
thus collected from the huge mass of historical litera- 
ture that has come down to posterity from the pen of 
the contemporary chroniclers must be carefully sifted 
and pieced together in such a way as to present an 
accurate account of the past. History must not be 
used as an instrument of propaganda even in the best 
of causes ; if used in a wrong cause, it may result in 
filling streets with human blood. Volumes written 
on the Muslim Period of Indian history have volumi- 
nously added to the volumes of communal hatred 
and bigotry. Whatever the aims of their authors, 
the text -books on Indian history, particularly on the 
Muslim Period, teem with exaggerations, distortions 
and timid suppression of facts, so much so that they 
tend to set one community at the throat of the other. 
False history has done more than a mere wrong to the 
cause of national unity and inter-communal amity in 
India. A retrospective glance at the present state of 
affairs will not fail io ~eveal to the reader the fact 
that the teaching of wrong history, more than any- 
thing else, is responsible for the recurring riots among 


the different communities of India. The sooner, 
therefore, such books are dispensed with, the better 
for the peace and prosperity of India. Born and 
brought up in communal atmosphere, we, Indians, 
see everything with communal glasses and therefore 
get a gloomy view. The obvious result is that the 
best of Muslim monarchs, statesmen and scholars have 
been painted in the darkest of colours and condemned 
as bigots and intolerants, nay, as blood-thirsty tyrants. 
As things stand at present, communal harmony with- 
out correct history is a dream which cannot be 
realized. The whole of Indian history, therefore, 
requires to be re-written in the right spirit, ' not so 
much from the point of view of occurrences at the 
capitals of various states as in order to delineate the 
spread of culture a,nd to demonstrate the value of its 
present composite form, so that our people may not 
be led away by the false notion that whatever para- 
phernalia of civilization we posset does not go back 
to more than a century and a half '. Some time ago 
the Punjab Government appointed a Special Com- 
mittee to see into the subject. The Committee 
investigated the matter and made some useful recom- 
mendations. The same point regarding the re-writing 
of the whole of Indian history, particularly the Muslim 
Period, was stressed at Poona at the All-India Histo- 
rical Conference in 1934 by Dr. (now Sir) Shafaat 
Ahmad Khan who presided over its deliberations and 
suggested the appointment of a Mss. Commission for 
the purpose. How far the objects aimed at have been 
achieved, I do not know. Some six years'ago, while 


I was a student, I too felt the same necessity after 
making an independent study of the Muslim Period 
and set myself to the task in right earnest. Remotely 
removed as I was from big educational centres, I was 
consequently deprived of all facilities for research. It 
was my love for my subject (history) that drove me 
from place to place in search of books drawn upon for 
material and the result is The Mughal Empire which 
I now submit to the judgment of the public. 

The Mughals are no more. Posterity may 
pause and pronounce judgment o~i their actions and 
administrations ; but to be fair and free from fallacy, 
it is necessary to bear five things in mind : viz., (1) the 
background, (2) the spirit of the age (3) the condi- 
tions of the country (4) the tendencies of the times, 
and (5) the time that has elapsed since the fall of the 
Mughal Empire. The background in the case of 
Mughal Emperors was Islam on the one hand and 
Persian traditions on the other. In the case of Shah 
Jahan and Aurangzeb, Islam had a great influence on 
their actions, whereas Persian traditions played a 
prominent part in determining the acts and adminis- 
trations of the rest of the Great Mughals. The spirit 
of the age, the conditions of the country and the 
tendencies of the times too had a great share in 
shaping their policies. While taking these four factors 
into consideration, allowance must also be made for 
the fifth the time that has scanned the interval 
between the fall of the Mughal Empire and the 
establishment of British Dominions in India time that 
has made marvellous improvements in and additions 


to the existing knowledge of man and changed his 
conception of things. 

Since the book has been intended chiefly for 
students in schools and colleges as well as for the 
general reader, I have constantly kept their needs in 
view and therefore avoided burdening it with numerous 
footnotes, though I have fully tapped the sources of my 
information, both original and secondary, catalogued 
at the end of the book, and referred to my authorities 
on controversial topics, such as the alleged apostasy of 
Akbar and the so-called bigotry of Aurangzeb, topics 
on which I have differed from modern historians and 
suggested a new line of thought. 

Last, but not the least, my unreserved thanks 
are due to all those writers, mediaeval and modern, 
whose monumental works Lhave consulted for construct- 
ing this narrative ; to the Hon'ble Sir Abdul Qadir 
for writing the Introduction ; to my brother S. M. Raza, 
B. A., for preparing the Index and^to my learned 
officer, the Judicial Commissioner, N.-W. F. P., for 
permitting me to publish this book. 

Peshawar City : S. M. JAFFAR. 

1st October, 1936. 


IN spelling Oriental names and words, I 
have followed the system of transliteration 
adopted and recommended by the Royal Asiatic 
Society of Great Britain and Ireland, except 
that I have adhered to the popular and well- 
established spelling of certain well-known places 
like Lucknow and Cawnpore, and have not tried 
to distinguish between the letters of almost, if 
not exactly, the same sounds, such as & and ^ ; 
&, ^r and ^; j, j, ^, and ^; ^ and f which, 
though useful for purposes of translation into 
Arabic and allied languages, is, nevertheless, 
bewildering to the student and the general 
reader, not acquainted with Arabic. Each 
letter in the aoove categories has its own sound, 
different from that of any other of its own 
category ; but the difference cannot be perceived 
by the reader, unless he be an Arabic scholar. 
To him, if he is not acquainted with Arabic ; 
the letters of each separate category are 
identical in sound and he pronounces them all 
alike. Again, I have not attempted to differ- 
entiate the letters O (soft *), ^ (soft d) and J 
(hard r), which have no equivalents in English 
but are represented by t, d and r with dots or 
commas on or under them. For the rest, r%* is 


represented by bh ; rfc> by ph ; & by th ; r $ by th ; 
1*5- by /*; ^ by ch\ r&$bychh;f>bykh; rt^by 
dh\ r$J by rh ; ^ by sh\ by g& ; r g^by M ; and 
rS^ by gh. The system employs the vowels with 
the following uniform sounds: 

(1) Ordinarily 

a, as in Roman ; e, as in prey ; i, as in 
t;n ; o, as in bold ; and u, as in full. 

(2) When lengthened 

a, as in last ; i, as in fatigue ; and u, as 
in plwrai. 


Ain ... Ain-i-Akbari by Allama Abul Fazl. 

B. I. S. ... Bibliotheca Indica Series. 

H. U. L. S. ... Home University Library Series. 

J. R. A. S. B. ... Journal 'of the Royal Asiatic Society of 

J. R. A. S. ... Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (London). 

J. R. S. A. ... Journal of the Royal Society of Arts (London). 

M. R. A. S. B. ... Memoirs of the Royal Asiatic Society of 

M. U. J. ... Muslim University Journal (Aligarh). 

N. K. T. ... Newal Kishor Text. 

P. R. A. S. B. ... Proceedings of the Royal Asiatic Society of 

Trans. ... Translation (English). 


Page 33, line 4 (from top), for Humaun read Humayun. 
Page 37, last line, /c r souhgt read sought. 
Page 206, line 2 (from bottom), for over read near. 
Page 384, line 19 (from top), insert a after for. 
Page 399, line 2 (from bottom) for force read forces. 


PREFACE ... ... ... ... vii x 

ORTHOGRAPHY ... ... ... ... xi-xii 

ABBREVIATIONS ... ... ... ... xii 

INTRODUCTION ... ... ... ...xxm-xxvi 

Sources of Information and the Forct,* that produced Modern India. 

Sources of Information Their authenticity Distortion and 
wrong juxtaposition of facts Modern India and the forces 
that produced it Religious Revival Discovery of the 
Sea-route to IndiaAdvent of the Great Mughals Import- 
ance of the three forces ... ... ... pp. 1-8 


Introductory Why is the Mughal Dynasty so called ? Babar's 
early career Conquest of Kabul His early attempts to 
conquer India- -Political condition of India on the eve of 
his invasion First Battle of Panipat Babar's difficulties 
after the battle His war with the Rajputs Battle of 
KhSn wan Babar's address to his noble-men and soldiers 
Defeat of Rana Sangha and rout of Rajput Confederacy- 
Importance of the Battle of KhSnwah Battle of Chanderi 
Battle of the Gogra Extent of Babar's Indian Empire 
Story of his death His policy and administration His 
account of India His Memoirs Fine Arts Architecture 
Poetry Painting Music The art of illustrating books- 
Gardening Literary Celebrities Babar's achievements 
His estimate ... ... ... ... pp. 9-32 


Introductory Division of the Empire Political condition of 
India and Humayun's position KSmrSn's occupation of the 
Punjab War with Bahadur Shah of Gujarat War with 


Sher Khan Afghan Humay On in exile In Persia He 
conquers Kabul and Qandhaa from Kamran His Restora- 
tion His accomplishments His ingenious Works Ad- 
ministrationDrum of Justice Classification of the people 
Fixture for audience Twelve sub-divisions Court- 
Scholars Humayun's love of libraries Progress of Educa- 
tion - Gardens Humayun's religious beliefs His character 
and estimate ... ... ... ... pp. 33-49. 


Sher Shah and His Successors 

Introductory Sher Shah's early life His early activities 
Occupation of Bengal Recovery of Bengal by Humayun 
Battle of Chausa Bat'le of Kanauj Conquests of Sher 
Shah : Punjab and Gakhar land Conquest of Maiwa. 
Conquests in Rajputana Administration Division of the 
Empire The Land Revenue System Administration of 
Justice Organization of Police Force Secret Service- 
Tariff System Means of Communication Postal Service 
Military Reforms Currency Reform Works of Public 
Welfare Architecture Sher Shah's ideal of kingship 
His estimate Salim Shah: Reduction of Malwa and 
the Punjab Shaikh Alai Government. Muhammad Shaft 
'Adil ... ... ... j ... pp. 50-70. 


Reconquest and Reconstruction 

Introductory Akbar's early life His accession Political 
condition of India in 1556 Second Battle gf Panipat 
Results of the Battle Submission of Sur claimants and end 
of the Sur Dynasty Bairam Khan His fall 1 Petticoat 
Government ' Akbar's position in 1564 A. C. Rebellion of 
Khan Zaman Of Adham Khan Of Abdullah Khan- 
Revolts of Uzbeg Chiefs Monstrous act of Khwajah Mu'az- 
zam Akbar and the Rajputs Matrimonial alliances- 
Careers opened to Rajputs and other Hindus Freedom of 
worship and liberty of conscience Social reforms Effects 
of above measures Akbar and^thfe Portuguese First 
P. Mission Second P. Mission Third P. Mission Akbar's 
object ... ... ... * . jSp. 71-91. 



Territorial Annexations 

Introductory Early Conquests Gondwana Mewar Gujarat- 
Bengal -The Qaqshal rebellion in Bengal Kabul- Akbar's 
North-West Frontier Policy The Roshanite Movement- 
Conquest of Kashmir Of Sind and Balochistan Of Qan- 
dhar The Deccan Campaign Ahmadnagar Khandesh 
Extent of the Mughal Empire under Akbar Last days of 
Akbar ..7" ... ... ... pp. 92-113 

The Din-i-Ilahi 

Introductory Reference to the history of t s .e Saracens To the 
history of Muslim Rule in India Akbar's orthodoxy- 
Change into liberalism Erection of .he Ibadat Khanah-- 
The Document Its importance Its effects Preliminaries 
to the promulgation of the Divine Faith T ts promulgation 
Its principles Its philosophic review Anti-Islamic ordi- 
nancesTheir criticism Von Noer's appraisal of Badaoni, 
the author of the ordinances -Si; dah or prostration Fire- 
worship and sun-worship Why were boars kept in the 
Imperial Palace? Women in the I mperial Harem Hindu 
customs and practices -Why was slaughter of cows 
forbidden ? Why were Mullahs and Shaikhs exiled? 
Criticism of Smith's views on Akbar's religious thoughts- 
Conclusion ... ... ... ...pp. 114-140 



Introductory Central Government Provincial Government- 
District Administration Imperial Service Secret Service 
Administration of law and justice Promotion of educa- 
tionPostal Service Means of communication and 
transportation Imperial Mints and their administration 
Police Force Land Revenue System Its broad basis 
Its importance Military Reforms -Infantry Artillery- 
Cavalry Navy Eleohant Corps Mansabdarl System- 
System of Payment System of branding horses and keep- 
ing dsscrip the rolls . ... ... pp. 141-61 



Literature ancfFine Arts 

Introductory Literature: Akbarnamah Its historical import- 
ance Ain-i-Akbarl Tarikh-i-Alfi Other books Trans- 
lated versions Hindu literature Illustrated versions 
Muslim Court-Scholars Abdul Fazl Abul Faiz-Shaikh 
Mubarak Abdur Rahim Abul Path Other Muslim Court- 
ScholarsSome Hindu Court-Scholars Todar Mai Blr 
Bal Other Hindu Scholars Tulsi Das Sur Das Painting 
Mughal School of Painting Progress of Painting Pro- 
minent Painters Art of Music Some musical instruments 
Hindu-Muslim intercourse through music Calligraphy 
Architecture (Jardenr Estimate of Akbar ... pp. 162-79 


Accession of Jahanglr Dastur-ul-Amal First Nauroz Khus- 
rau's revolt Execution of Guru Arjan Loss of Qandhar 
Conquest of Kangra Subjugation of Mewar The Deccan 
Campaign Malik Ahmadnagar Subsequent 
career of Prince Khusrau His character Rebellion of 
Usman in Bengal Outbreak of the bubonic plague Nur 
JahSn Mehr-un-Nisa married to AH Quiz Istajlu or Suer 
Afgan Murder of Sher Afgan Mas the murder pre- 
meditated and whether Jahanglr had a hand in it ? Jahan- 
glr marries Mehr-un-Nisa Nur Jahan's accomplishments 
Her valour 4 Power behind the throne 'Her influence on 
the State Her character Rebellion of Shah Jahan Of 
Mahabat Khan Shah Jahan's subsequent % movements 
War of Succession Close of Nur Jahan's career, pp. 179-206 


Introductory Jahangir's relations with the Portuguese With 
the English William Hawkins and William Bdwardes 
Sir Thomas Roe Foreign accounts of Jahangir's reign and 
their veracity Roe's description of Mughal Court and its 
customs His description of Jahangir's personal -character 
State of Fine Arts Hawkins's account Administration 
under Jahanglr His love of letters Literary Jems of his 
Court Promotion of Education Fine Arts: Painting 


Painters under the Imperial patronage Architecture- 
Music -Gardens Chancter of Jahangir His love for Nur 
Jah5n and his affection for his relatives -His refined tastes 
His religious beliefs- His estimate ... pp. 207-22. 


Accession of Shah Jahan His early acts - Rebellion of Bundelas 
under Johar Singh Revolt of Khan Jahan Lodhi -Cele- 
bration of Nauroz Famine of 1630-32 Shah Jahan and the 
Portuguese The Portuguese War- Career of MumtSz 
Mahal- Her character Shah Jahan's Deccan Policy War 
against Ahmadnagar Further operations in the Deccan 
War against Bijapur Subjugation of Colconda and BijSpur 
Shah Jahan's Central Asian Policy and his attempts to 
acquire his ancestral possessions -Recovery of QandhSr 
Conquest of Balkh and BadakhshSn-Loss of Qandhar and 
failure to recover it Failure of Shah Jah&ii's Central Asian 
Policy and its results Early career of Aurangzeb His 
resignation and renunciation of the world His appoint- 
ment to the governorships of different provinces His 
second viceroyalty of the Deccan and administrative 
achievements His forward policy against the Deccan 
War against Golconda War against Ahmadnagar. 

pp. 222-53. 



Fratricidal War and its genesis Sons of ShSh Jahan and their 
character-sketchesDivision of the Empire -Mughal tradi- 
tion of ' kingship recognises no kinship 'Illness of the 
Emperor and nomination of Daraas his successor Absence 
of the law of succession Da ra's behaviour during the 
illness of his father Weakness of Shah Jahan- Triple 
Alliance Movements of the three Princes*- Bat tie of 
BahSdurgarh- Battle of Dharmat- Battle of SSmGgarh 
Fate of Shah JahSn Fate of Murad Fate of Shuja' 
Dara's last stand and his tragic end Fate of Sulaiman 
Shikoh and of other Poyal Princes Motives which actuated 
Aurangzeb to enter the Fratricidal War Causes of his 
success in it Ali Mardan KhSn Asaf KhSn Allama 


Saadullah KhanShah Jahan's administration Progress 
of Fine Arts under his patronage -Architecture -Painting 
Music - Gardens - Shah Janan's philomathy - Literary 
Gems of his Court Promotion of learning -Character and 
estimate of Shah Jahan ... ... ...pp.25480. 


haily Acts Afghans Hindus Rajputs 

Accession of Aurangzeb-His early acts -Appointments and 
transfejs of provincial governors -Career of Mir Jumla 
Expedition against Assam and his death Conquest of 
Chittagong Illness of Auraggzeb- North- West Frontier- 
Suppression of*Yusafz;fiis-Afridi Rising Khattak Rising 
and arrest of Khush-hal Khan Khattak -Close of the 
Afghan War 'Alamgir and the HindQs -Re-imposition of the 
Jizia Dismissal of Hindu officials Destruction of temples 
Firman issued to the Governor of Benares for the protec- 
tion of temples Two more similar Fir mans Which temples 
were destroyed and why? -Whether Hindu schools were 
destroyed ?- If so, which and why ? Toleration under 
'Alamgir Some inferences drawn from the above discussion 
'Alamgir justified -Jat rebellion -The Satnaims' Insurrec- 
tion-War with the Rajputs -Invasion of Marwar and 
Mewar Rebellion of Prince Muhammad Akbar -Treaty of 
Udaipur- Results of the Rajput Revolt ...pp. 281-314. 


Rise of the Marhattas 

Introductory -Description of Maharashtra Character and 
qualities of Marhattas Their religion Their early training 
Rise of the Bhonsla Family Sljahj.1 Bhonsla-; Early life 
of Shivajt His robberies -Seizure and release of his father 
Massacre at Javli -Renewal of hostilities Afzal Kha n ' s 
meeting with Shivajl Rout of Afzal Khan's army -Treach- 
ery of SJjivajl- Rapid Progress pf Marhatta arms-Shivaji 
attacked from three sides Shivajl as an independent ruler 
Shivajl and Shaista Khan Sack of SQraU-Shivaji's 


assumption of independent sovereignty His submission 
to the Emperor -Treaty of Purandhar-His visit to the 
Imperial Capital Was the honour conferred upon him by 
'Alamglr below his dignity? His escape from captivity 
with the connivance of Rajah Ram Singh -Recall of Jai 
Singh and his death Shivajl styles himself Rajah -He 
exacts Chauth and Suredeskmukhi from Bijapur and Gol- 
conda Renewal of hostilities and sack of Sffrat for the 
second time Coronation of Shiva jl His further conquests 
Erttent of his Kingdom His Civil Administration Ad- 
ministrative Divisions of his Kingdom Administration of 
Justice The Land Revenue System -Military organization 
Shiv&ji's Fleet An estimate of his character and achieve- 
ments ... ... ... ... pp. 315-47. 


Conquest of Bijcipur and GolcondaEnd of Marhatta Menace 

Suppression of the Sikhs Anglo-Mughal War 

Administration under ^Alamgir 

Introductory Fall of Bijapur Fall of Golconda Abdur-Raz- 
zSq Impolicy of the Deccan Conquest - Renewal of 
activities against the Marhattas- Rajah Ram as regent and 
as Rajah - Expedition against him Tara Bai as regent of 
her son, Shivajl III -End of 'Alamglr- Mughal Empire aftei 
his death-Rise of the Sikhs-Guru Nanak Dev-Guru 
Angad Dev GurQ Amar Das -GurG Ram Das-Guru Arjan 
Dev Guru Har Govind Guru Har RaiGuru Har Kishan 
Guru Tegh Bahadur -Guru Govind Singh His reforms 
Suppression of the Sikhs 'Alamglr and the English 
Early English settlements in India Anglo-Moghal War 
Extent of 'Alamgir's Empire Administration under 
* Alamglr -Re-arrangement of the Subahs -Theocratic Cha- 
racter of the Government Suppression of Public Immoral- 
ity -Bait-ul-Mal -Policy of Over-centralizationjustice 
Progress of Education -Architecture -Music and Painting 
Gardens -Character of 'Alamglr -Views of some Euro- 
pears about his character and achievements ... pp. 347-78. 


Mughal Culture and. Civilization 

Introductory -Political Features: Law of Succession Mughal 
Monarchy and its nature Functions of the Mughal Govern- 
mentMethods of Administration Administrative Divisions 
Administration of Justice Taxation Police Organi- 
zationSecret Service Postal Service Art and Architec- 
tureEducationWas Muslim Rule in India a Rule of 
Foreigners ? Are Muslims Foreigners ? Socia/ Features: 
Cultural Unity of India during the Muslim Rule -Muslim 
Society and the Sources of its Strength -Splendour of the 
Mughal Court Male Dress Female Dress Personal De- 
corationAmusements -Status of Women Slavery Reli- 
gious Features : Extraordinary Increase in Muslim Popula- 
tion, its causes Islam vs. Hinduism Spirit of Freedom- 
Intrinsic Worth of Muslim Faith, Examples of Muslim 
Saints Economic Advantages Virility of Muslim Races - 
'No Compulsion in Religion' Forces that brought about a 
modus vivendi between Islam and Hinduism Rise of the 
Bhakti Movement Influence of Islam on Indian Religious 
Life and Thought Two Royal Houses of Islam in India- 
Economic Features: Agriculture Land Revenue System 
and its Working Was the land Avenue exorbitant? 
Farmer of Akbar's time and his brother of to-day com- 
paredFamine Relief Textile Industries Foreign Trade 
Ship-building- Currency System Means of Communica- 
tion and Transportation Condition of the People -Rela- 
tions between Hindus and Muslims - Conclusion pp, 379-412. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY ... ... ... pp. 413-18, 

Addendum on Babar's Death ... ... .,. 419-20. 

INDEX ... ... ... ... PR- 421 ff. 


The period of the Moghal rule in India is the 
most interesting period in the history of our country 
and furnishes a highly fascinating subject of study. 
Students of Indian history owe a debt of gratitude to 
Mr. S. M. Jaffar of Peshawar for his book, which 
gives a very readable account of * The Moghal Empire 1 , 
opening with the reign 01* Babar and coming down to 
Aurangzeb. Mr. Jaffar has taken great pains to 
study the numerous books on the subject that are 
available in English, Persian and Urdu, and has 
beautifully summarised the material contained in 
them. The long list of books used or consulted by 
him, given at the end of his valuable work, will show 
the range of his wide study and research. The result 
is a book considerably different from and decidedly 
superior in treatment and style to the existing text- 
books on Indian history. The author, as an enlighten- 
ed Muslim, is naturally in sympathy with the Great 
Moghal Rulers who professed the faith of Islam and 
Succeeded in establishing a vast and wonderful 
Empire in a country to which the Founder of the 
dynasty originally came as an invader from his 
Central* Asian home. Mr. Jaffar does not conceal 
his admiration for the Moghals, yet he is not forgetful 
of his duty as an historian and comes out with frank 
criticisms of the -policies and administrations of the 
Emperors whose reigns are described by him. 


It is refreshing to note that the author has not 
confined his attention to the events of the period 
with which he is concerned, or to the dates of those 
events. These details may be important in them- 
selves, but they are, after all, rightly called the dry 
bones of history. He has clothed the dry bones with 
flesh and blood and colour by dealing with the many 
aspects of the social life of the people, their progress 
in arts and letters and the effect of each reign on 
these vital things. I am sure that this part of his 
effort will be very much appreciated by his readers. I 
think it is time *hat this line of study in history be 
developed to the fullest extent possible. I know that 
the materials for it are comparatively meagre and 
have to be sifted and collected with great research 
out of the heaps of rubbish, in which they are lying 
scattered. The work, however, is worth doing, and 
Mr. Jaffar is one of those who recognize its value and 
have tried to accomplish it. He has already contri- 
buted very substanthlly to this neglected field of 
Indian history by writing two other well-documented 
books, one on 'Education in Muslim India 9 and 
another on * Some Cultural Aspects of Must im Rule in 
India 9 . 

While dealing with the Muslim point of view and 
trying to explain the actions of Moghal Emperors, 
which have been adversely criticised by sorrie modern 
historians, Mr. Jaffar does not ignore the general 
Indian point of view, and he brings out the contribu- 
tion made by Moghal Rulers of India to Indian 
culture and to the fusion of Hindu and Muslim 


cultures into one common heritage. For instance, the 
following remarks of his about the Emperor Jahftngir 
are very interesting : 

" Like his father, he loved to hear Hindi songs 
and took delight in patronising Hindi poets. He loved 
fine arts and encouraged their cultivation. Born in 
India and of Indian parents, Jahangir loved things 
Indian and felt delighted in Indian environments." 

In another place, the author, while describing 
the progress made by education during the Moghal 
Period, makes the following observat : ons : 

14 It may be mentioned here that in the schools and 
colleges founded by the Moghal Emperors and others, 
Hindu students studied side by side with their 
Muslim class-fellows and there was no restriction in 
this or in any other respect." 

Another passage that may be cited to illustrate the 
importance attached by Mr. Jaffar to the efforts of the 
Moghals to develop a common nationality in India, 
runs as follows : 

" Aibak, the first King of the Sultanate of Delhi, 
and Bsbar, the first King of the Moghal Empire, came 
from foreign lands, no doubt, but they settled down 
ih this country, made it their permanent home, 
identified themselves with the interests of the country, 
and ruled it rather as Indians than as foreigners. 
Their successors were born in India, lived in India 
and died in India. Thus they were Indian every 
inch. They came as foreigners indeed, but like the 
Aryans, who too wre foreigners, they engrafted 
themselves on the Indian soil, sucked into their veins 


the Indian sap, nurtured themselves under the warmth 
of the Indian sun and conditioned their growth, 
multiplication and expansion under the Indian climate. 
So with the march of time they became with each 
succeeding generation, ' of the earth earthy V 

Besides the special features of Mr. Jaffar's 
excellent book, briefly referred to above, there are 
many other features, equally attractive, which need 
not be dilated upon here and will be better appreciated 
by the reader when perusing the book itself. I think it 
can be safely s&A thaj the 'author has succeeded in 
giving to the students of Indian history an accurate as 
well as an instructive account of the Moghal rule in 
India in its palmy days. The book is a most useful 
contribution to Indian historical literature and should 
interest not only the general reader, but also students 
of Indian history in schools and colleges. 


20th December, 1935. 



Sources of Information and the Forces that produced 
Modern India. 

The main sources of our information about the 
Mughal Period may conveniently be 

classed as follows : ~^ contemporary 
records, such as imperial firmans, 
official reports, despatches and diaries (whether military 
or diplomatic) sent to and received from the provincial 
governors and others by the Central Government 
through the agency of news-writers and secret reporters ; 
(2) narratives reduced to writing by the participators in 
the acts arid events from memory after their termination, 
or set down by others who learnt about them from 
their lips ; (3) imperial autobiographies Malfilznt-i- 
Taimuri, Tuzk-i-Bdbari and Tuzk-i-Jahanglri 
written either by the Mughal Emperors themselves, or 
by their court-scholars under their own direction ; 

(4) court journals, such as Akbarndmdh, Bddsliah- 
ndmdh and 'Alamglrndmah, written, respectively, by 
Abul Fazl, Abdul Hamld Lahori and Munshi 
Muhammad Kazim, the best writers of Persian prose, 
to whom the otherwise inaccessible archives of the 
State were thrown open for inspection and information ; 

(5) accounts of foreign travellers, i. e. t Von Noer, 
De Laet, Coryat, Niccolao Manucci, Bernier and 
Taverniei, who visited India during that period ; 


(6) impressions of English ambassadors, viz., Roe, Terry 
and Hawkins, who represented England at the Mughal 
Court in the reign of Emperor Jahanglr ; (7) accounts 
of Portuguese missionaries, i.e., Monserrat, Xavier 
and others, who resided at the Mughal Court; 
(8) tazkirds and tdrilchs of later Muslim chroniclers, 
such as Muhammad Qasim's Tdri}&-i-Ferishtii, Khafi 
Khan's MuntaKhib-iil-Lubab, Kamwar Khan's Tazkirat- 
us-Saldtin-i-Chaghtdid and Sayyad Gbularn Hussain's 

Documents of the first kind are by far the most 
. important and reliable raw materials 

authenticity. for constructing a comprehensive 

history of the Mughal Period. Un- 
fortunately, however, very few of them have come 
down to us, most of them having perished during 
the Mutiny of 1857. Of the surviving few, some are 
to be seen in the libraries of Europe, whither they 
travelled after having escaped, and ^ome in possession 
of Indian States and ancient families, so that they 
are not easily accessible to a modern historian who 
concerns himself with the elucidation of any topic 
relating to the Mughal Period, and he is, consequently, 
constrained to draw almost exclusively upon the 
remaining sources of information. Those of the second 
type also contain some rich stores of information, but 
they must be subjected to the correction of errors 
and the elimination of the mere hearsay. Whereas the 
information we derive from the imperial autobiographies, 
court journals and other works written by the proteges 
of the ruling princes may be regarded as one-sided, 


giving only the bright side of the picture; that we 
receive from the accounts of foreign travellers, English 
ambassadors and Portuguese missionaries paints mostly 
the dark side. The tazkiras and t&rilchs were written 
by writers who did not keep regular diaries and had 
little access to official records and State papers. 
Therefore, the accuracy of their contents must needs be 
called in question should they come into conflict with 
the other sources of information, though they were often 
unbiased and free from flattery, distortion and timid 
suppression of facts. And, it is not seldom that the 
accounts of contemporary chroniclers come into conflict. 
This is because, on the one hand, they were written by 
flattering friends for the eyes and ears of their imperial 
patrons who raised them above want, even to affluence, 
and on the other hand, by hostile critics whom the 
Court did not actively patronize, nor took into 

Thus, though there is ample material for writing 
Distortion and a comprehensive history of the period 

wrong juxta- in question, it is the duty of the 

position of facts. historian to sift evidence, separate 
facts from fiction, brush aside the cobwebs of history 
with patience and industry, and piece the material 
together in such a way as to give an unsophisticated 
recount, for history ceases to be history if facts are 
distorted for ulterior aims and are juxtaposed in 
such a way as to present a melancholy picture ; and 
an historian ceases to be historian if he writes history 
for the sordid love of money. A glaring instance of 
distortion and wrong juxtaposition of facts is found 


in the case of Akbar who has Jbeen branded as apostate 
from Islam. Chapter VII (The Divine Faith) is devoted 
to a discussion on the subject and it will be evident that 
the charge of apostasy is a mere calumny concocted 
to create an aversion against the greatest ruler of India. 
Another such instance is found in the case of Aurangzeb 
who is alleged to have alienated the loyalty of his 
Hindu subjects by destroying their temples, by re- 
imposing the Jizid and by introducing a number of 
repressive measures. Chapter XIV will show that 
the case was quite the contrary that it was the Hindus 
who alienated tiie sympathies of their sovereign by 
destroying mosques, by marrying Muslim women 
by force and by defying the authority of the Emperor 
in league with his enemies. It was after the Hindus 
had destroyed mosques, outraged the modesty 
of Muslim women and created disturbances in 
the Empire that the Emperor ordered the destruction 
of those temples that had been built on the sites of 
mosques, those that had been newly built and those that 
had become centres of sedition and political intrigue. 

Before entering upon the history of the Great 
Modern India Mughals it seems necessary to give a 

and the forces brief account of the forces that laid 

that produced it. the f oun dation of Modern India, for 
the interest of Indian history from the beginning of the 
sixteenth century to the dawn of the present day will 
be found in the development of these forces. Referring 
to the fifteenth century in India, Professor Rushbrook- 
Williams remarks that ' beneath all the apparent chaos, 
the elements from which, in future, modern political 


society will be constructed, are slowly taking shape, 
until the moment comes when they rise in view, 
dominant and incontrovertible/ The first of these forces 
was the Religious Revival ; the second was the 
Discovery of the Sea-route to India by Vasco da Gama 
in 1498 A. C. and the appearance of European nations 
on the stage of Indian history; and the third was the 
Advent of the Great Mughals and the foundation of 
the Mughal Empire in India. 

With the establishment of the Muslim Empire in 

India, Islam became supreme and it 
Religious , 

Revival launched upon a new career of con- 

version. As a result, Hinduism was 
adversely affected. Some attracted by the teachings of the 
Muslim Faith, others actuated by economic advantages, 
went over to the religion of their rulers. For full five 
centuries this state of affairs continued uninterrupted, 
bvt when conversions were accelerated into mass 
movements, there arose in this country a host of Hindu 
religious reformers who made earnest efforts to recover 
their lost sheep. The method they adopted to achieve 
their object was reconciliation with Islam and the 
result was the Bhakti Movement, which preached the 
unity of God and propagated the principles of liberty^ 
equality and fraternity. Thus, while the Reformation 
was revolutionizing the religious life of Europe, the 
Bhakti Movement analogous to the Reformation Move- 
ment was on foot in India. Maharashtra and the 
Punjab were immensely influenced by it : In the former 
it gave rise to the Marhatta Power, which reached its 
climax under the leadership of Shivajl; in the latter it 


established the sovereignty of the Sikhs who subsequently 
became supreme under the sTv&y of Ranjit Singh. 

The second, in the scheme of chronology, was the 

Discovery of the Sea-route to India 
Discovery of the 
Sea-rouie to India. and the appearance of the Portuguese, 

the Dutch, the French and the 
English on the stage of Indian history. To the 
Portuguese, India seemed a second Peru, where diadems 
might be torn from the brows of the Princes nay 
another new world for conquest and conversion ; to the 
Dutch, she looked like a large market, which afforded 
a favourable field for ambitious enterprise; to the 
French, she was a big theatre for lucrative intrigue, 
where they could reap a rich harvest of gains and fame ; 
to the English, she was an emporium, which offered 
untold trade facilities. In the scramble that followed 
among these four European rivals, the English, whose 
methods were less showy but more sure and successful, 
proved to be the fittest and, therefore, survived the 
remaining three. It is the second force, therefore, that 
changed the course of India's future history and made 
her what she is to-day -an integral part of the British 
Empire. . 

To the student of Muslim history, however, it is 

neither the first nor the second but the 
Advent of the . . . . . f . 

Great Mughals. third that stnkes as the most important 
force. Babar defeated Ibrahim Lodhi 
at the historic plain of Panipat in 1526 A. C. and laid 
the foundation of the Mughal Empire in India. His 
grandson, Akbar the Great, nut only enlarged and 
consolidated his heritage but constructed that 


administrative and fiscal system which gave a definite 
form and cohesion to the Mughal Sovereignty. By peace- 
ful methods and beneficial legislation, by reconciliation 
and universal toleration, he won over the discontented 
natives to his side and reconciled them to the ideas of 
the Mughal Rule. His peaceful policy, pursued by his 
successors, proved the corner-stone of the Mughal 
Empire and contributed incalculably to its strength and 

The importance of these forces cannot be overstat- 

. - ed. Though none of them attracted 

Importance of ... 

the three forces. an y notice in the beginning, they 
heralded the dawn of a new era which 
ushered in the Mughals, the Marhattas. the Sikhs and 
the Europeans, who abandoned their respective vocations 
and entered upon a struggle for the throne of India. 
The Mughals were the first, in order of time, to establish 
their sway in India. During the reign of Shah Jahan 
and his successors the Marhattas and the Sikhs were 
transformed into warlike races and they tried their 
utmost to extirpate Islam from India root and branch. 
They ate into the vitality of the Mughal Empire, so 
much so that it was easily supplanted by the English 
towards the end of the eighteenth century. The 
Marhattas became the masters of Maharashtra and the 
Sikhs established their supremacy in the Punjab. The 
former were farmers and the latter were deists. The 
teachings of their leaders, coupled with the conditions 
of the country and the circumstances of the age, turned 
them into warrior:; end drove them into the vortex of 
politics. The obvious result was that the tables were 


turned : men of farms became men of arms, monks and 
mendicants became soldiers *&nd statesmen, and the 
traders became the rulers of India under the East India 



(1526-1530 A. C.) 
The most brilliant period in the annals of Indian 

history begins with the advent of 
Introductory. ^-, , . , , ,. 

Babar who invaded Indii on the 

solicitation of Ala-ud-DIn, the uncle of the ruling 
prince Ibrahim Lodhi, and Drulat Khan Lodhi, the 
Governor of the Punjab, and laid the foundation of the 
Mughal Empire. The first battle of Panlpat, in which 
Babar defeated Ibrahim Lodhi, marked the beginning 
of a new era in the history of India. It paved the way 
for the Great Mughals to uome and settle in this 
country and make it their permanent abode. The 
victory at Panipat meant the establishment of the 
Mughal Dynasty, which furnished a line of those 
illustrious sovereigns under whom India reached the 
pinnacle of her greatness and the apex of her fortunes. 
Rich in useful institutions and fruitful ideas, the 
Mughal Imperialism was extremely favourable for the 
efflorescence of fine arts and the development of 
learning and literature. It will be seen that during the 
two centuries of the Mughal Rule the Imperial Court 
was a bee- hive of poets and painters, historians and 
philosophers, musicians and dancers, engineers and 
architects nay a hot-house where nothing died of 
rhilly indifference. What gave such a ?pur to their 
successful cultivation was the Imperial patronage, which 


was no longer the monopoly of the favoured few, but 
extended to all and sundry wkhout stint. 

We may now return to Babar whom we left 
Why is the victorious at the plain of Panipat, 

Mughal Dynasty where Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi had 
so called ? fallen fighting for his throne. The 

victor claimed descent from Taimur on his father's side 
and from Chingiz Khan on his mother's side. He 
thus united in his veins the blood of two great warriors 
of Central Asia and combined in his person, in com- 
mensurate propo'tion, the courage of a nomad Tartar 
and the urbanity of a cultured Persian. Babar was not 
a Mughal. In his Memoirs he speaks contemptuously 
of the Mughals and calls himself a Turk. Therefore, it 
seems strange that the dynasty he founded should have 
been known as the Mughal Dynasty. An explanation 
for this may be found in the fact that the people 
of India used to call all Musalmfm invaders, excepting 
Afghans, Mugjhals, and hence the name of the dynasty. 

Zahlr-ud-Din Muhammad, surnamed Babar 

'the Brave', was born on Friday, the 
BSbar's early 24th day of February> 1 483 A . C . 

career ' His father, Umar Shaikh Mirza, was 

the ruler of Farghana, a fragment of Taimur's Central 
Asian Empire. At the age of eleven his father passed 
away and he was called upon to succeed him to his 
small kingdom. His succession was an eyesore to his 
uncles and cousins, one of whom attacked him soon 
after he was enthroned, and others continued -to plot 
against him to the last day of tbeif life. Fortunately, 
Ahmad Mirza, who contested his supcessioq in the 


first year of his reign, died a year afterwards, leaving 
anarchy and confusion to rule in Samarqand. Availing 
himself of this opportune moment, Babar advanced 
from his native Farghana, occupied Samarqand and 
seated himself on the throne of his great ancestor, 
Taimur, at the early age of fifteen. He, however, fell 
ill in his new possession. Taking advantage of his 
absence and illness, his ambitious minister set up on the 
throne of Farghana Babar's younger brother Jahangir, 
giving out that Babar was dead. Post-haste he 
marched from Samarqand on his recovery to take back 
Farghana. Soon after his departure, Samarqand was 
occupied by his cousin, Ali. In 1498 A. C. he was no 
king. His only possession was Khojend, a small town 
between Farghana and Samarqand. He recovered 
Farghana in 1499 A. C. and Samarqand the following 
year. But the Uzbegs would not allow him to rule in 
peace. Defeated in a highly contested battle at Archian 
in 1501 A. C., he succeeded in saving his life with the 
greatest difficulty. Samarqand was lost and Farghana 
followed its suit soon after. 

All prospects being thus extinguished, Babar bid a 

sad farewell to his beloved Farghana 

Conquest and set out to try ^{3 i uc k beyond 

of Kabul. , __. - . . . icno A r 

the Hindukush m 1502 A. C. 
While he was on his way to Kabul, he was given to 
understand that his uncle's kingdom was in an anarchi- 
cal state and that a strong party of the nobles was 
willing to restore the throne to a prince of the royal 
blood. The year 1504 A. C. may appropriately be 
called the ami us mirablis of Babar's career: It was 


in this year that he overthrew the Afghans and 
occupied Kabul. The conquest of Kabul enabled him 
to conquer Qandhar, Herat and Badakhshan. All this 
emboldened him to make a bid for Samarqand, the 
capital of his ancestor, Taimur. In 1513 A. C. he 
made an alliance with the Shah of Persia and conquered 
Bokhara and Samarqand. Notwithstanding all these 
successes, his position was as precarious as ever. The 
Uzbegs would not allow him to rule in rest. His 
conformity to the Athna-i-AIiarya (SMa Faith) in 
his treaty with the Persian Monarch annoyed his 
Sunni subjects and alienated them from him. The 
Uzbegs fully exploited the feelings of the people and 
successfully fished in the troubled waters. Within a 
short time they ousted him from his dominions one 
after the other, drove him, from post to pillar and pillar 
to post, and reduced him to such straits that he decided 
at last to seek his fortune in the east rather than in th? 

The battle of Panipat was preceded by some 
His early preliminary attempts at the conquest 

attempts to of India. The first of these attempts 

conquer India. was made in 150 5 A. C. V hen Babar 

occupied Qbaznin and raided as far as the Indus. The 
second attempt was made in 1519 A. C. It was, 
however, confined to the borders of India. The follow- 
ing year our trans-border hero crossed the Indus and 
marched into the interior of India; but he was soon 
called back to Kabul to meet a combined attack of 
his old enemies, the Uzbegs. L These preliminary 
attempts convinced him that he could not conquer 


India without strengthening his base at Qandhar. So 
he seized Qandhar from the Arghuns and organised 
it in a state of defence. Next he established his 
authority over the territory between Ghaznin and 
Khurasan in order to facilitate the conquest of India. 

The political condition of India on the eve of 
Political Babar's invasion was terribly deplorable, 

condition of Northern India was seething with 

India on the eve discontent and dissensions. Sikandar 
of his invasion. Lodhi> ft capable ru l er , had died 

in 1517 A. C. and his stupid s^n, Ibiahim Lodhi, had 
mounted the throne of Delhi. His misgovernment and 
arrogant behaviour had estranged his own kith and kin. 
His ill-treatment had disgusted the Afgtpn nobles who 
formed secret conspiracies against him. Bengal 
Jaunpur, Malwa, Gujarat, and other outlying provinces 
had all become independent. The eastern districts of 
Cudh and Bihar had taken up arms against him. 
Daulat Khan Lodhi, the governor of the Punjab and 
Ala-ud-DIn, uncle of Ibrahim, revolted against the 
ruling prince and invited Babar to relieve India of the 
tyrant. Rana Sanghram, or Rana Sangha, as he is 
known in history, also made overtures to the King of 
Kabul and asked him to intervene. 

No more opportune moment could be desired. 

Babar's invasion of India was well- 
First Battle of , 
. ,. ^M* timed. India was weak and divided. 
Panipat: 1526. 

Babar was strong, determined and 
prepared. In 1524 A. C. he set out on his final 
expedition. He followed his previous route and reached 
Lahore. Finding Daulat Khan in the train of Ibrahim 


Lodhi, he returned to Kabul in order to reinforce his 
army there and then to attack India. Towards the end 
of 1525 A. C. he attacked Daulat Khan, over-ran the 
Punjab and thence advanced towards Delhi via 
Sarhind. Ibrahim Lodhi gathered together his forces 
and came out of Agra to oppose the advance of the 
invader. The two armies met each other on the plain 
of Panipat in the month of April, 1526 A. C. Babar 
protected his army of 12,000 strong against the assaults 
of his enemy by surrounding it with wagons chained 
together, and a hedge ard a ditch around it. Ibrahim's 
army, consisting of 100,000 strong, far outnumbered that 
of the invader ; but the latter had the decided advantage 
of possessing a well-trained set of troops and a good park 
of artillery. In the battle that followed, Ibrahim Lodhi 
fell fighting on the field* and his army was routed. 
Delhi and Agra fell into the hands of the invader, who 
was hailed as the 'Emperor of India' by the people of 
the capital cities. On Friday, Aprilt 22, 1526 A. C. 
the public prayer was said in the capital mosque at 
Delhi in the name of the new emperor. The first 
battle of Panipat put an end to the Afghan rule and 
introduced the Mughal rule instead. It clowned the 
career of Babar and gave India a series of capable 

The victory at. Panlpat made Babar the King of 

Delhi, not yet of Hindustan, much 
Babar's difficulties , f T i- 1.1 TT^J 

after the battle. less of Indla as a wh le * ^ e had 

several difficulties to surmount. His 

Afghan rivals, though defeated, were by no means 
subjugated ; though crippled they were 'not cofnpletely 


crushed. Some of them still held out in their provincial 
strongholds and defied the authority of the Emperor. 
The people were opposed to the change of the dynasty. 
They hated the Mughal Emperor and regarded him as 
a usurper. They preferred a tyrant to an outsider. 
Babar's position was, therefore, critical, more so when 
his own followers deserted him and retreated to their 
original homes. The trying heat of the country had 
considerably told upon their health and they requested 
their leader to return. Babfir had not, however, invaded 
India with the ideas of Taimu^: he had come to stay 
there. He made a soul-stirring speech and revived the 
spirits of his soldiers. He toid them plainly that 'a 
kingdom which had cost so much should not be 
wrested from him except by death'. Accordingly, he 
issued a proclamation, expressing his determination to 
stay in India. He granted leave to such of his soldiers 
as preferred safety to glory, telling them that he would 
keep in his service only those who would reflect honour 
upon themselves their Padsfaah and their country*. 
The proclamation had the desired effect : All murmurs 
ceased and his officers took oaths of allegiance to him. 
When the Afghans were assured of his intention to stay 
in India, they also sided with him and placed them- 
selves at his service. 

Babar's decision to stay in India was momentous 

in another way : it opened the eyes 
His war with - . ~ . _, , . - ^1^.1 

the Rajputs. of the Rji JP uts to the danger that lay 

at; their door. His own chiefs, whom 
he had satisfied with grants oijdgirs, reduced a large 
part of the country for him. They conquered Bianah, 


Gwalior, and Dholpur. His son, Humayun, took 
possession of Jaunpur, Gbzlpur and Kalpi and annexed 
them to his kingdom. He himself remained at Agra, 
thinking out ways and means of conquering the whole 
of India. It was at that time that the mother of 
Ibrahim Lodhi made an attempt to put an end to his 
life by means of a poison. Had she succeeded in her 
nefarious plan, India would have had a different history. 
Rana. Sangha or Rana Sanghram, who had invited 

Babar to attack India, was wrong to 
Battle of , , , i-i i i 

Khamvah 1527 think that, like his ancestor, the new 

invader too would plunder and retire 
with as much of booty as he could collect. When he 
learnt of the intention of Babar, he made preparations 
to resist the invader who was now encroaching upon 
Rajputana and had rediiced some parts of it. The 
Rana was indeed a worthy member of his famous 
house. As a prince of great wisdom, valour and virtue, 
he occupied a high position among the Rajput princes of 
India. The Rajahs of Arnber and Marwar acknowledged 
his supremacy. The princes of Ajmer, Slkri, Raisin, 
Bundi, Chanderl, Gargaon and Rampura all paid him 
homage as his feudatories. His idea in inviting Babar 
was to clear his own way to the throne of India. He 
had sufficiently strengthened his military resources and 
was at that time the most powerful prince and his was 
the premier state. Before his encounter with Babar, he 
had already been the hero of a hundred fights and had 
on his person as many as eighty scars. He had lost 
a hand, a leg and an eye in actions. On the llth of 
February, 1527 A. C. Babar advanced out^of Agra 


against the Ran& who nad encamped at Sikri, a village 
near Fathpur. His first attack was repelled by the 
Rajputs. The defeated detachments took to flight 
and caused great consternation among the Mughal 
armies. At this critical juncture Babar broke his wine 
vessels and renounced the use of wine for ever. When 
he called a council of war, he was advised to leave a 
strong garrison at Agra and retire to the Punjab. " What 
will all the Muhammadan kings of the world say of 
a monarch whom the fear of death obliged to abandon 
such a kingdom ? " was the answer he gave to his 
officers and advisors. His address to his followers, 
delivered by him at that time, is as lull of interest as 
of enthusiasm. He called together his companions 
and said: 

" Noblemen and soldiers ! Every man that comes 
Babar's address in ^ the world is subject to dissolu- 
to his noblemen tion. When we are passed away and 
and soldiers. gone> God only survives, unchange- 

able. Whoever comes to the feast of life must, before 
it is over, drink from the cup of death. He who 
arrives at the inn of mortality must one day inevitably 
take his departure from that house of sorrow the 
world. How much better is it to die with honour than 
to live with infamy ! 

With fame, even if I die, I am contented ; 
Let fame be mine, since my body is death's. 
The Most High God has been propitious to us, and 
has now placed us in such a crisis, that if we fall in the 
field, we die the death of martyrs ; if we survive, we 
rise victorious, the avengers of the cause of God. Let 


us, then, with one accord, swear on God's holy word, 
that none of us will even think of turning his face from 
this warfare, nor desert from the battle and slaughter 
that ensues, till his soul is separated from his body." 
The melo-dramatic eloquence of Babar embodied 

Defeat of Rana in the above a PP eal Was wholl y 

Sangha and the successful in that it produced the 
rout of Rajput intended effect on his soldiers and 

followers, who now swore by the 
Holy Qur'an to stand by their leader in weal and 
woe. On the 16th of March, 1527 A. C. at 9 or 9-30 
A. M. the battle began and raged hotly till evening. 
The powerful Rajput confederacy, under the leadership 
of the redoubtable Rana Sangha, and the remnants 
of the Turkish soldiers, under the command of Babar, 

came face to face with each other at Khanwah. 

~~~ ~ 

Towards the end of a well-fought day, the Rajputs 
gave way. The Rana had a narrow escape. His 
accomplices were, however, captured and slain. Here 
it should be remembered that the looses of the Rajputs 
in this battle were almost unprecedented. Among the 
slain were Hasan Khan MewatI, Rawal Udai Singh 
Dungarpur and a host of lesser chieftains, who had 
entered into the Rajput confederacy against Babar. 

The battle of Khanwah is indeed one of the decisive 
Importance of battles that have been fought in India, 

the Battle of Its importance has been beautifully 

Khanwah. summed up by Professor Rushbrook- 

Williams in the following passage: '.'In the 
first place, the menace of Rajput supremacy which had 
loomed large before the eyes of Muhammadans in India 


for the last few years was removed once for aU. The 
powerful confederacy, v r hich depended so largely for 
its unity upon the strength and reputation of Mewar, 
was shattered by a single great defeat, and ceased 
henceforth to be a dominant factor in the politics of 
Hindustan. Secondly, the Mughal Empire of India was 
soon firmly established. Babar had definitely seated 
himself upon the throne of Sultan Ibrahim, and the sign 
and seal of his achievement had been the annihilation of 
Sultan Ibrahim's most formidable antagonists. Hitherto, 
the occupation of Hindustan might have been looked 
upon as a mere episode in Babar's career of adventure; 
but from henceforth it becomes the keynote of his activi- 
ties for the remainder of his life. His days of wandering 
in search of a fortune are now passed away: the 
fortune is his, and he has but to show himself worthy 
of it. And it is significant of the new stage in his 
career which this battle marks that never afterwards 
does he have to stake his throne and life upon the 
issue of a stricken field. Fighting there is, and fighting 
in plenty, to be done : but it is fighting for the extension 
of his power, for the reduction of rebels, for the ordering 
of his kingdom. It is never fighting for his throne. And 
it is also significant of Babar's grasp of vital issues that 
from henceforth the centre of gravity of his power is 
shifted from Kabul to Hindustan." 

The Rajput opposition was crippled but not yet 
crushed. The remnants of the 
Rajputs gathered together under 

Ma dim Rao of Chanderi and aspired 
for the sovereignty of Hindustan. At first Babar tried 


peaceful methods : He offered a jdglr to MedinI Rao 
in lieu of Chanderl ; but wfcen the latter refused to 
enter into the proposed treaty, the former took the 
field against him in person. Just at this time Babar 
received intelligence that his army was defeated by the 
Afghans, who had taken advantage of his absence and 
had compelled the Imperial army to evacuate Lakhnau 
(Lucknow) and to fall back on Kanauj. Such a 
staggering news would have upset the balance of a mere 
mediocre, but Babar kept his head cool and pushed 
on the siege of Chanderl witn great care and courage, 
so much so that the garrison was reduced to the 
traditional forlorn hope accompanied by a heroic and 
yet terrible practice of Jauhar. These events took 
place in ' 1528 A. C. The defeat of Medini Rao and 
the capture of Chanderl completed the collapse of the 
Rajput confederacy. A little afterwards Rana Sangha, 
the last hope of the Rajputs, died. The rebellions 
Afghans were subdued and Babar enjoyed an interim 
of peace till the end of 1528 A. C. 

The Afghans were defeated, but they were still 

strong enough to resist the ' usurper '. 
Battle of the ,, . j j ,, , 

Gogra 1529 They considered themselves superior 

to Babar and his followers, and 
entertained hopes of reviving their own supremacy. 
They created disturbance in Bihar and Jaunpur by 
espousing the cause of Ibrahim Lodhi's brother, 
Mahmud Lodhi. Babar sent his son, Askari, against 
the eastern provinces and himself joined him a little 
later. At his approach, 'the enemy melted away', 
and as he advanced through Allahabad to Buxar, on his 


way he received the unqualified submission of the 
Afghan chiefs. Nusrat Sh^h, the ruler of Bengal, had 
entered into a kind of convention with Babar to the 
effect that neither would attack the territories of the 
other, but he not only set aside the convention by 
seizing upon the province of Sasram but also by giving 
shelter to the fugitive Afghan prince, Mahmud Lodhi. 
Bengal, the centre of the rebellious Afghans, was 
attacked and occupied. 

The net result of Babar's victories in India was 

r _ , , that the Afghans were crushed, the 
hxtent of Babar's . . 

Indian Empire. Rajput supremacy "/as shattered, the 

Mughal Empire was founded, and 
Babar was the master of almost the whole of Northern 
India. He ruled over Kabul, the Punjab, Bengal, 
Bihar, Oudh, Gwalior and a large part of Rajputana, 
including Mewar. His empire extended from the 
Himalayas in the north to Gwalior in the south and 
from the Punjab ir the west to the frontiers of Bengal 
in the east. He would have increased the extent of 
his empire if spared ; but as fate would have it, he died 
a year after the battle of the Gogra. 

When in the hot weather of the year 1530 A. C. 

, * , . . , Humayun fell seriously ill, his father, 
Story of his death. J ^ 

Babar, was so much upset by his 

illness that he resolved to sacrifice his own life in order 
to save that of his son. His friends requested him not 
to take such a step and proposed that the precious 
diamond, known in history as Koh-i-Noor, might be 
given away instead ; but the fond father regarded that 
as too poor a price for the life of his most beloved 


son. Walking three times round the bed of his son, 
he prayed to God to transfef the disease of his son to 
him. So strong was his will-power that he is reported 
to have said " I have borne it away ! I have borne it 
away ! ! " From that time, we have it from the Muslim 
historians, Babar declined in health and succumbed to 
death and his son, Humayun, began to recover, till at 
last he was perfectly well. 

As ., Padshah, or sovereign-ruler of Hindustan, 

Babar reigned for less than five 
His policy and b t hjs administration during 

administration. y ' & 

this period was characterised by the 

same energy, decision and promptness as he had always 
displayed in his military exploits. He restored the 
Grand Trunk Road, laid out his capital at Agra as a 
beautiful garden-city with superb palaces, baths, tanks, 
wells and water-courses ; ordered the reparation of 
mosques and other buildings and established guard- 
houses and post-stations at regular intervals and 
maintained an express letter-mail between Agra and 
Kabul. Following the traditions of a personal, as 
distinguished from a bureaucratic administration, he 
toured throughout his Indian dominions td study their 
internal state. This eventually appealed to the 
idiosyncrasies of his Indian subjects and consequently 
reconciled them to the ideas of the Mughal Rule. The 
huhrat-i-'Am (Public Works Department) was 
entrusted, in addition to other duties, with 'the 
publication of a gazette and the building of schools 
and colleges '. In many respects Babar accepted the 
system of government as he found in vogue in those 


times, and divided his kingdom into fiefs and assigned 
them to his officers. The country was still unsettled 
and the financial deficits were untold. So Professor 
Rushbrook- Williams seems to be just in his remark 
that Babar ' bequeathed to his son a monarchy which 
could be held together only by the continuance of war 
conditions, which in times of peace was weak, structure- 
less and invertebrate'. But it must be remembered 
that Babar had no time to introduce new Jaws and 
institutions in the newly-conquered country. From 
what he did during his short reign It is amply clear 
that if he had lived longer, he would have proved 
himself an excellent administrator. His Wasiyyat 
namd-i-majchfi (secret testament) to his son and successor, 
Humayun, embodies in it his administrative policy, 
which was scrupulously adopted by Humayun and 
carried to its logical conclusion by Akbar and his 
successors. It preaches peace and enjoins tolerance as 
the motto of Mughal Rule in India, and contains the 
essence of its author's administrative genius. As a 
monument of enlightened statesmanship and a document 
of unique historical interest and importance, it deserves 
to be reproduced here. It reads : 


Secret testament of Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad 
Babar Badshah Gba-zi to Prince Nasir-ud-Dm 
Muhammad Humayun. May God prolong his life! 

For the stability of the Empire this is written. 
O my son ! The realm of Hindustan is full of diverse 
creeds. Praise be to God, the Righteous, the Glorious, 
the Highest, that He hath granted unto thee the 


Empire "of it. It is but proper that thou, with heart 
cleansed of all religious bigotry, should dispense justice 
according to the tenets of each community. And in 
particular refrain from the sacrifice of cow, for that 
way lies the conquest of the hearts of the people of 
Hindustan; and the subjects of the realm will, through 
royal favour, be devoted to thee. And the temples and 
abodes of worship of every community under Imperial 
sway, you should not damage. Dispense justice so 
that the sovereign may be happy with the subjects and 
likewise the subjects wi*h their sovereign. The progress 
of Islam is better by the sword of kindness, not by the 
sword of oppression 

Ignore the disputations of Shias and Sunnls ; for 
therein is the weakness of Islam. And bring together 
the subjects with differenl beliefs in the manner of the 
Four Elements, so that the body-politic may be 
immune from the various ailments. And remember 
the deeds of Hazrat Taimur Sdhib-qirdni (Lord of the 
conjuction) so that you may become mature in matters 
of Government 

And on us is but the duty to advise. 

First Jamadi-ul-Awwal 935 H llth January, 
1529." * 

*The original document is in Persian and is treasured in 
the Hamida Library at Bhopal as one of its heirlooms. Some- 
time ago it was first published in the ' Twentieth Century ' oi 
Allahabad by Mr. N. C. Mehta, I. C. S. with its English transla- 
tion with the courtesy of H. H. the Nawab Sahib of Bhopal. 
It may be pointed out here that Ba bar's message is only one of 
the numerous Imperial Firmans which were issued from time to 
time by the Mughal Emperors according to the requirements 

of the time. Some similar rescripts were issued by Emperor 
* Alamgir, for which, vide Chapter XIV. 


Babar briefly surveys the political condition of 

India on the eve of his invasion and 
His account dwe ,, s - ^ and ^ 

of India. r 

and also refers to its geographical 

features. He, however, forms a poor opinion of the 
people, as is evident from the following passage : 

" Hindustan is a country that has few pleasures 
to recommend it. The people are not handsome. They 
have no idea of the charms of friendly society, of 
frankly mixing together, or of familiar intercourse. They 
have no genius, no comprehension of mind, no politeness 
of manner, no kindness or fellow-feeling no ingenuity or 
mechanical invention in planning or executing their 
handicraft works, no skill or knowledge in design or 
architecture ; they have no horses, no good flesh, no 
grapes or musk-melons, no good fruits, no ice or cold 
water, no good food or bread in their bazars, no baths or 
colleges, no candles, no torches, not a candlestick Instead 
of a candle or torch, you have a gang of dirty fellows, 
whom they call divatis, who hold in their left hand 
a kind of small tripod, to the side of one leg of which, 
it being wooden, they stick a piece of iron like the top 
of the candlestick; they fasten a pliant wick, of the 
size of the middle finger, by an iron pin, to another 
of the legs. In their right hand they hold a gourd, 
in which they have made a hole for the purpose of 
pouring out oil, in a small stream, and whenever the 
wick requires oil, they supply it from this gourd. 
Their great men kept a hundred or two hundred of 
these divatis." 

He continues to add that there were neither 


aqueducts nor canals, neither elegance nor regularity ; 
that the peasants and the proletariat moved about naked, 
wearing only a langoti to cover their private parts. 
He, however, speaks favourably of India's wealth in 

silver and gold and says that there was no dearth of 
work ; that there was abundance of occupations ; that 
there was flourishing trade ; and that the climate was 
pleasant during the rainy season. It must be remem- 
bered that Babar's stay in India was much too short 
to allow him to acquaint himself with the character 
of Indians, their customs and traditions, their ideas 
and habits. Therefore, his account of India, particularly 
in regard to her people, is bound to be superficial. 

The Mei.wirs referred to are the autobiography of 

TT . _, . Babar, which has earned for him the 

His Memoirs. 

title df ' prince of autobiographers . 
It contains the best account that we have of its author 
in a most lucid style and manly expression. It ranks 
among the most precious treasures 9f Indian historical 
literature. It has jusHy extorted universal admiration 
for the simplicity of its language, the sublimity of its 

style, and the authenticity of its contents ; but the 
greatest charm of this work is the revelation of its 
author's personality. It reveals Babar in his true 
colours, with all his virtues and vices. Fit to rank with 
the best biographies of the world, it stands unique in 
Asia and will long retain its fascination to capture our 
fancy. It presents Babar, his country-men and con- 
temporaries in their dress, appearance, tastes, pursuits, 
manners, habits and hobbies as clearly as in a mirror. 
It gives an exact description of the countries hp visited, 


their physical features, productions, works of krt and 
industry. All this, and above all the shrewd comments 
and lively impressions of its author, breaking in upon 
the narrative at intervals, give his reminiscences a 
permanent and penetrating flavour of a rare order. 

Babar was a great lover of fine arts. 

Architecture, poetry, painting, music, 

gardening and the art of illustrating 

books with beautiful pictures made considerable progress 

under his patronage. He himself cultivated these arts 

and encouraged those given to similar pursuits. So 

strong were his aesthetic tastes that even during his 

stormy career he could find time to devote to these 

arts and to satiate his thirst for them. 

He had a keen interest in architecture. He did 

not like the edifices he came across 
Architecture. ^ ,, . , 7 , , , 

at Delhi and Agra, though he was 

impressed by the architecture at Gwalior. He formed 
a poor opinion of native art and skill and therefore 
imported the talented pupils of Sinan, the celebrated 
architect, from Constantinople to design his buildings 
according to his own aesthetic tastes. He writes in his 
Memoirs : 

" In Agra alone, and of the stone-cutters belonging 
to that place only, I every day employed on my palaces 
680 persons; and in Agra, SikrI, Bianah, Dholpur, 
Gwalior and Koil, there were every day employed on 
my works 1,491 stone-cutters." 

Unfortunately, almost all his beautiful buildings 
have perished. The two that have survived are the 
great mosque in the Kabul Bagh at Panlpat and the 


Jdmi' Masjid at Sambhal. 

Babar was a born poet. 3 ' He cultivated the art of 
poetry from his early days and is the 
reputed author of a diwan (collection) 
of Turki poems, many of which figure in the 
Tuzk-i-Babari. Abul Fazl informs us that a collection 
of Persian masnawis (romances) of his composition, 
called Mubin, had a very large circulation in his days. 
Besides, Babar wrote a number of other works, which 
include an interesting book on prosody, called Mufassil. 
The celebrated Smthor of the Tarilth-i-Rashidi records 
to his credit : , 

" In the composition of Turki poetry he was second 

only to Amir All Shir He invented a style of 

verse, called Mubdiydn, and was the author of a most 
useful treatise on Jurisprudence, which has been adopted 
generally. He also wrote a tract on Turkish prosody, 
superior in elegance to any other, and put into veise 
the Risald-i-Wdlidiydh of his Holiness." 

As a man of cheerful disposition, he used to 
convene Mushderds (poetical contests) in which 
extempore versification and recitation in Persian and 
Turkish were indulged in. The Memoirs describe a, 
gathering of literary men even in a boat wherein Babar 
and his associates composed verses in order to beguile 
their weary hours. So supreme was the sway of the 
Muse over his mind that even amidst the clash of 
arms he snatched a brief interval to listen to the 
creations of poets and the conversations of erudite 
scholars. At times he himself Cropped in a verse or 
two to add to the amusement of the assemblage. 


Babar displayed a remarkable taste for painting. 

He is said to have brought to India 
Painting. . 

with him all the choicest specimens 

of painting he could collect from the library of his 
forefathers the Timurides. Some of these were taken 
to Persia by Nadir Shah after his invasion of India 
and the conquest of Delhi; but as long as they 
remained in India, they exerted a great influence 
on and gave a new impetus to the art of painting in 

The sister art of music also receivjd the attention 

_, . of the Emperor who himself was a 

Music. . TT- t ..i 

connoisseur. His skill and proficiency 

in it is borne out by a treatise of his own composition 
in which he has written all about it. This book is 
of a very high order and is as interesting as it is 
informative. It bears eloquent testimony to its author's 
love of music and his knowledge of its technicalities. 
The practice of illustrating books with beautiful 
paintings and pictures and thereby 
mistm'ting books, making them more lucid and interest- 
ing was, for the first time, introduced 
in India by Babar. His Memoirs afford a crowning 
evidence in this respect also. Profusely coloured 
illustrations, with which this book is embellished, form 
an essentially attractive feature of it, and the coloured 
^presentations of animals described therein are 
particularly charming. 

Babar was a great gardener. There are repeated 

_ . references to flowers and gardens in 


his Memoirs. Among the gardens 


that h^ laid out, Bagh-i-Wafa and Bagh-i-Kilan near 
Kabul and Ram Bagh an4 *Zohra Bagh at Agra may 
be regarded as the most fascinating. It will be 
interesting to remark here that the idea underlying the 
gardens of the Great Mughals was Iram, the garden 
held out to the Muslims for their entertainment as 
a reward for their good deeds in this world. 
Unfortunately, many of such gardens * have been given 
over to cultivation ', yet there remains enough to show 
the artistic tastes of their founders. Beautiful flowers, 
bright birds, gontle beasts 1 and a vast multitude of 
earthly houries and ghilmans (fair boys) constituted 
the splendour that was Mughal. 

Babar ioved literacy and used to associate himself 
with men whose memory we will 

celebrities. l n g cherish. His court had a 

brilliant set of eminent scholars. 

Some of them were Gfaiyas-ud-Dm Muhammad 

Kbudamir, the celebrated Persian historian and author 

i ^ 

of the Hablb-us-Siyar, the Khuldsat-ul-Akbar and 
many other works ; Maulana Shahab-ud-DIn, the 
famous enigmatist, poet and punster ; and Mir Ibrahim, 
a native of Herat and a skilled performer on Kanun. 
Apart from these, those who came into close contact 
with him were Shaikh Mazi, his own tutor ; Shaikh 
Zain Khafi, translator of the Wdqiyat-i-Bdbari; and 
Maulana BaqT, one of the most learned men of ths 
day. It may also be mentioned that Babar was greatly 
assisted in his literary undertakings by the erudite 
minister of the King of Herat/ who had 'collected 
a valuable library of the most esteejmed works of the 


time and placed him in charge of it '. 

S. Lane-Poole has beautifully summed up Babar's 
achievements in the following 
words: " His permanent place in 
history rests upon his Indian 
conquests, which opened the way for an imperial line ; 
but his place in biography and literature is determined 
rather by his daring adventures and persevering efforts 
in his earlier days, and by the delightful Memoirs in 
which he related them. Soldier of fortune as he was, 
Babar was not the less a man of fine literary taste and 
fastidious critical perception. In Persian, the language 
of culture, the Latin of Central Asia, as it is of India, 
he was an accomplished poet, and in his native Turki 
he was master of a pure and unaffected style alike in 
prose and verse. The Turkish princes of his time 
prided themselves upon their literary polish, and to 
turn an elegant ghazal, or even to write a beautiful 
manuscript, was their peculiar ambition, no less worthy 
or stimulating than to be master of sword or mace. 
Wit and learning, the art of improvising a quatrain 
on the spot, quoting the Persian classics, writing a 
good hand, or singing a good song, were highly 
appreciated in Babar's world, as much perhaps as 
valour, and infinitely more than virtue. Babar himself 
will break off in the middle of a story to quote a verse, 
and he found leisure in the thick of his difficulties and 
dangers to compose an ode on his misfortunes. His 
battles as well as his orgies were humanised by a 
breath of poetry." 


Another long quotation on the heels of one which 

has already occupied considerable 
His Estimate. ' v , _. _ 

space may appear to be a little too 

much, but, as it gives a correct estimate of Babar, it 
may appropriately be cited : 

" Upon the whole if we review with impartiality 
the history of Asia, we shall find few princes who 
are entitled to rank higher than Babar in genius 
and accomplishments. His grandson, Akbar, may 
perhaps be placed above him for profound and 
benevolent polify. The crooked artifice of Aurangzib 
is not entitled to the same distinction. The merit 
of Chingiz I^han, and of Tamerlane, terminates 
in their splendid conquests, which far excelled the 
achievements of Babar; but in activity of mind, in 
the gay equanimity and unbroken spirit with which 
he bore the extremes of good and bad fortune, and in 
the possession of the manly and social virtues, so 
seldom the portion of princes, in his love of letters and 
his success in the cultivation of th<*m, we shall probably 
find no other Asiatfc prince who can justly be placed 
beside him." 



(1530- 39 and 1556) 
Babar was succeeded by his beloved son, Humayun, 

Introductory. who ascended the throne amidst 

great festivities under the title of 
NasIr-ud-Dln Muhammad Humyaun two day: before 
the end of the year 1530 A. C. The new king was 
not destined to enjoy a peaceful reign, partly because 
he himself created his own difficuHies and partly 
because he was outmatched by his rival, Sher Shah, in 
diplomacy and statecraft. 

Acting in accordance with the advice of his father, 

r _ . . Humayun bestowed upon his brothers 

Division of ., , . , .. 

the empire. the governorships of different pro- 

vinces : Kabul and Qandhar were 
given to Kamran, Alwar and Mewat were allotted 
to Mirzfi Hindal, Sambhal was, assigned to Mirza 
Askarl, and the government of Badakhshan was entrust- 
ed to his cousin, Mirza Sulaiman. This division of 
the empire \vas responsible for the ambitious intrigues 
and treasonable designs of his brothers and the early 
overthrow of the Mughal Empire. 

Babar did not live long to consolidate what he had 

i . . . conquered. Humayun was not so 

Political situation . , . 

of India and strong and sagacious as to accomplish 

?o U sS Qn >S what his father could not What 

mure, he added to his own 

difficulties. His leniency was his mistake and his 


inconsistency was nis blunder. The political 
condition of India at thgtime of his accession 
was miserable. Sher Khan Afghan in the east 
and Bahadur Shah in the west the former in Bengal 
and Bihar and the latter in Gujarat were maturing 
plans for the overthrow of the Mughals. His own 
brothers were now sufficiently strong to support their 
own claims to the throne and there was nothing to 
prevent them from doing that. The leading nobles and 
military' leaders, whom he himself had granted large 
estates in order to increase bis popularity, were now in 
possession of the sinews of war, which they freely 
employed in mutual warfare and even against their 
Emperor. They ceaselessly intrigued and plotted 
against him in order to push forward their own men. 
A conspiracy was formed by one Muhammad Zaman 
against Humayun. Had it succeeded, the history of 
India would have been differently written. The secret 
was out and Muhammad Zaman took refuge in Gujarat, 
where he made common cause wfth Bahadur Shah. 
Another aspirant to the throne was Ala-ud-Dln, brother 
of Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi, who sent an army of 40,000 
men against Humayun under the command of his son, 
Tatar Khan. In the engagement that was fought at 
Bianah, Tatar was defeated and slain. 

Entrusting the government of Kabul and Qandhar 

,- - , to his brother, Askari, Kamran se f 

Kamran s 

occupation of out at the head of a huge army 

the Punjab. against HumayQn) giving out that he 

was going to congratulate him on bis assumption of the 
royal insignia. Humayun was not so.simple^as to be 


deceived by such a trick. Forthwith he sent in advance 

j \ 

an envoy to inform his brother that he had already 
decided to add Lamghan and Peshawar to the fief of 
Kabul. But Kamran was not content with this conces- 
sion. He crossed the Indus and conquered the Punjab 
and annexed it to his kingdom of Kabul and Qandhar. 
Humayun remained passive; rather, he quietly 
acquiesced in the forcible occupation and avoided war 
with his brother. This was a grave mistake on his 
part. The cession of the Punjab in general and of 
Hissar Firoza in particular was a blunder of the first 
magnitude. The former not only deprived him of a 
most productive province but created a barrier between 
him and the Mughal military base in the North- West, 
so rich in military resources. The latter gave Kamran 
command of the new military road running from Delhi 
to Qandhar and made it possible for him to cut down 
the tap-root of Humayun's military power ' by merely 
stopping where he was*. 

Humayun was soon called upon to deal with 
War with Bahadur ShaH, one of the most 

Bahadur Shah formidable of his adversaries. Guja- 

of Gujarat. rftt wag then Qne Q the ^^ and 

most powerful provinces of India. Its ruler was a man 
of towering ambition. He had immense resources at 
his command. Before trying conclusions with Humayun, 
he had already increased his army and artillery. He 
had conquered Malwa with the help of the Rana of 
Mewar; and the kings of Ahmadnagar, Khandegh and 
Berar paid him homage. The Portuguese also acknow- 
ledged his supremacy. He had warred against the 


Rana of Chittor and forced aim to agree to terms 
'ruinous alike to his pride and his pocket'. He now 
made preparations for a more ambitious venture the 
conquest of Hindustan as a whole. He enlisted in his 
service the Afghan chiefs and the Mughal nobles, who 
had fled to his kingdom and taken refuge there, and 
planned the conquest of the country under the Mughal 
Emperor. Humayun at once marched against him to 
chastise him for giving shelter to his enemies. Bahadur 
Shah underestimated the military capacity of his 
opponent and tried to imitate the tactics employed by 
Babar at the battle of I'anipat. He entrenched himself 
very strongly anu expected his adversary to repeat the 
blunder of Ibrahim Lodhi by hurling his troops against 
his batteries. But Humayun, who had seen enough 
of war tactics as a lieutenant of his father, instead of 
falling into the trap prepared for him, sent strong 
bodies of cavalry to scour the country in the rear of 
Bahadur Shah's camp and cut off his supplies. The 
beleaguered Gujaratis were reduced to a state of famine 
and the Sultan, after blowing up his guns, escaped with a 
few of his faithful followers. He was hunted by Humayun 
from place to place and compelled to take refuge with 
the Portuguese at Diu. Humayun, in the meantime, 
reduced a great part of Gujarat and Malwa, but he and 
his officers were so elated by their successes that they 
did nothing to effect a permanent settlement of the 
conquered territory. They gave themselves up to feast- 
ing and merry-making. Bahadur Sfya.h availed himself of 
their negligence and immediately despatched his trusty 
officer, Imad-ul-Mulk, who at once occupied Ahmadabad 


and gathered together a large army for his master, who 
was also promised aid by the Portuguese Governor. This 
alarmed Humayun and awoke him to the gravity of the 
situation. At once he advanced against Imad and 
inflicted a defeat on him. Feeling that his occupation 
of Gujarat was secure, he entrusted his brother, Askari, 
with its government and himself proceeded apace 
against Sher Khan Afghan, who had headed a formid- 
able revolt in Bihar. In his absence, Askari proved 
totally tactless and incapable. His own officers dis- 
liked him for his arrogance and unmannerliness. 
There was no love lost between the master and his 
servants. Bahadur Shah, who was waiting for an 
opportunity, at once attacked Ahmadabad and 
took possession of it. Gradually he recovered his lost 
kingdom, but he was not destined to enjoy the fruits 
of his victories. He died in 1537 A. C. by falling into 
the sea. Malwa was also lost as soon as Humayun 
left Mandu. 

At the approach of the Imperial army near the 
borders of Bengal, the crafty Afghan 
w^hdrew towards Bihar. In his 
absence, the Mughals occupied Gaur, 
the provincial capital, and renamed it Jannatabad. 
Again, when Sher Khan seized upon the Mughal posses- 
sions in Bihar and Jaunpur and overran the territory as 
far as Kanauj, Humayun mobilized his forces against 
him. Crossing the Ganges at Munghlr, he marched 
towards Bihar at the head of his army. At Chausa he 
was defeated by his enemy, the rebellious Afghan, and 
put to flight. At this critical juncture he souhgt the 



aid of his brothers whom he had so magnanimously 
treated; but they not only 'offered a flat refusal but 
substantially contributed to the success of his enemy by 
hampering his preparations. Sher Khan, who, after his 
victory at Chausa, had crowned himself king under the 
title of Sher Shah, crossed the Ganges and inflicted a 
sharp defeat on Humayun at Kanauj, whither he had 
retired after his defeat, and expelled him from India. 
A novelist and not an historian can better portray 

the picture of his flight from India 
e3e, Un and * he misfortunes that befell him 

thereafter. After his defeat at the 

battle of Kanauj, he crossed the Ganges and reached 
Agra. Thence he started towards Delhi with his 
treasure and family. Finding, however, that his cause 
was lost, he left for Sarhind. His brothers, whom he 
had so kindly treated, gave him no protection ; rather, 
they added to his difficulties and increased his anxiety. 
Proceeding towards Sind, he besieged Bhakkar, but 
could not conquer it. It was at this time that he 
married Hamida Bano Bagum, daughter of Shaikh All 
Akbar Jaml. Driven to despair, he turned to Maldeva, 
the Rajah of Jodhpur, who had promised him a con- 
tingent of twenty thousand Rajputs. But when he 
reached the Rajah's territory, he discovered that the 
Rajah meant mischief. At last he sought shelter at 
Amarkot, and there he and his party were given a 
rousing reception by Rana Prasad, who also agreed to 
assist him in attacking Thatta and Bhakkar. It was at 
this haven of refuge that the future empress of India 
gave birth to the greatest emperor of Indi&. After 


performing the necessary ceremonies on the happy 
occasion of the birth of his son, Akbar, Humayiin 
attacked Bhakkar with the aid of Rana Prasad. Un- 
fortunately, a picque having arisen between the Muslims 
and the Rajputs, the latter deserted the Imperial army ; 
but fortunately, the Chief of Bhakkar got tired of war 
and sued for peace. According to the terms of the 
treaty, Humayiin received thirty boats, ten thousand 
Misbkdls, two thousand loads of grain and three hundred 
camels. Thus equipped, he advanced towards Qandhar, 
but it was too dangerous a place foi him to stay in. 
His brother, Kamran, was the sole master of the entire 
Afghan territory ; his brothers, Askari and Hindal, were 
his vassals. After a careful consideration he decided 
to set out in search of support. Leaving his little son, 
Akbar, who was at that tim^ twelve months old, at 
Qandhar, he proceeded towards Persia and informed the 
Shah of his proposed visit. 

Hearing of Fumayun's intention, Tahmasp, the 
of Persia, issued instructions to 

In Persia. , . ^ ^ j . - i A 

his officers to accord him a right 

royal welcome on his arrival. The Shah was a Shia by 
faith and it is said that he received the royal fugitive 
so warmly simply because he intended to convert him 
to his own creed. In spite of his endeavours and im- 
portunities, it is stated, he could not shake the belief of 
his guest in the Sunni doctrine. In accordance with the 
advice of his well-wishers, Humayun agreed to accept 
the religion of his host after a great reluctance. The 
Shah promised to help him with a contingent to 
conquer Kabul, Qandhar and Bokhara. 


With an army of 14,000, Humayun attacked the 

kingdom of Kamran. Having ac- 

Klb C uTa q nd rS q uired Qandhar, he advanced upon 

Qandhar from Kabul and defeated his brother. Here 

Kamran. , . . t , , , , , , 

his son, Akbar, whom he had left at 

the mercy of Kamran who had once exposed the boy 
to a fusillade of shots, was restored to him after a long 
separation. Kamran, though beaten, was still ready 
to recover his lost possessions. Again he was defeated 
and put to flight In an engagement at night, Mirza 
Hindal was slab. Kamran, the fugitive king of Kabul, 
found shelter at the Court of Sultan Salim Shah who, 
however, treated him so badly that he took himself to the 
Gakhar country in disgust and disappointment. But the 
Chief of the Gakhars too treated him ruthlessly. He was 
handed over to Humayun, who remembered the words of 
his father and so did not put an end to his life. He was 
blinded and thus rendered incapable of creating mis- 
chief against his brother. At his request, he was sent 
to Mecca along with his wife, who served him faithfully 
to the last day of tiis life. Mirza Askari was also 
caught and permitted to proceed to Mecca. Having 
disposed of his rivals, Humayun turned his attention to 
the reconquest of Hindustan. 

In response to the requests of influential Indians, 
Humayun, who was eagerly watching 

the events ot India and was lon S in g 
for an opportunity, advanced towards 

India early in the year 1555 at the head of an efficient 
army, and occupied Lahore. Sulian Sikandar Sur, who 
had played ducks and drakes with the Imperial treasury, 


advanced against him, but was totally defeated in 
a battle at Sarhind and put to flight. Humayun 
entered his old capital in a triumphant procession and 
ruled his Indian Empire for a brief span of about twelve 
months. He died of a fatal fall from the terraced-roof 
of his library on the 24th of January, 1556 A. C. 

Endowed as he was with a retentive memory, 
Humayun had acquired proficiency in 
Kmpfehments. several arts and sciences in his early 
years. He was very fond of poetry 
and had great skill in this art. He was an excellent 
poet, whose verses were elegant and full of meaning. In 
astronomy he was an adept and in geography a perfect 
master. He indited some dissertations on the nature 
of the elements and ordered the construction of celestial 
and terrestrial globes as soon as he became Emperor 
of India. Ferishta says that he fitted up seven halls of 
reception and dedicated them to seven planets in the 
following order : Judges, ambassadors, poets and travel- 
lers were received in the Hall of the Moon ; commanders 
and other military officers in the Hall of the Mars ; qvil 
officers in the Palace of the Mercury ; gens de lettres in 
the palaces of the Saturn and the Jupiter; musicians 
and bards in the Hall of the Venus. In short 
Humayun was gifted with those accomplishments and 
graces which are highly prized in good and fashionable 
societies. ' I have seen,' says the author of the Taril$h,- 
i-Rashidi, ' few princes possessed of so much natural 
talents and excellence as he.' 'His noble nature,' 
writes the author of the A in, 'was marked by the 
combination of the energy of Alexander and the 


learning of Aristotle.' Under him the Mughal Court 
became famous for its splendour and magnificence. 

Humayun has to his credit some curious contri- 
vances. Under his instructions his 
workT US Najjdrs (carpenters) constructed for 

him four boats and set them afloat on 
the Jumna. Each of these boats had an arch, of 
which two storeys were very high. When these boats 
were put together in such a way that the four arches 
remained opposite to one another, an octagonal fountain 
was formed witnin the~n, which presented a picturesque 
view. The boats were provided with bazars and 
shops. Often the Emperor sailed in them from Firoz- 
Sbad Delhi to Agra with his courtiers. There was such 
a bazar afloat on the Jumna that 'one could have what- 
ever one liked.' Likewise, the royal gardeners made a 
moving-garden for their Imperial patron on the surface 
of the Jumna. But, the most marvellous of his 
ingenious works was the moving-palace which had three 
storeys. The various parts of this wooden structure 
were so skilfully joined that it looked like one having no 
joint, but when required, it could be split into parts of 
which it was made. The stairs leading* to the upper 
storey were so dexterously designed that they could be 
easily folded and unfolded. It was a wonderful per- 
formance. This sovereign also made a moving-bridge, 
which too was no less curious. 

For purposes of administration, Humayun divided his 

A - . . . . government into four parts according 

Administration. & ~ * r - . & 

to the four elements: Attsb (Fire), 
Bad (Air), Ab (Water), and gh&k (Land), and placed 


each one of them in charge of a separate minister. The- 
affairs of the artillery, together with the arrangement 06 
armours and weapons and all those affairs which were 
connected with Fire, were formed into a separate de- 
partment, called Sarkdr-i-Atishi, the portfolio of which 
was held by Khwajah Abdul Malik; the affairs o 
Karqirdq Kh>cun^ (godown), stable, Bdwarcfri Khdnd 
(kitchen), Shukar Kh,dnd (camel stable), etc., constituted 
what was known as Sarkdr-i-Hawdi, which was under 
Khwajah Lutf-Ullah; the management of Sharbafc 
Khdnd -('house for sweet drinks) and AlastuchA Khdnd 
(store-hcwase) as well as the construction of canals and 
all other affairs -connected with Water were grouped into- 
a separate department, called Sarkdr-i-Abt , which was 
placed inchatge of Khwajah Hassan; and agriculture, 
buildings, the management of Crown-lands and house- 
hold affaks fell to the fourth department, called Sarkar- 
i-Khdki, of which the ministry was vested in Khwajfthi 
Jalal-ud-Dki Mirza Beg. 

Humayun displayed a remarkable interest in andi 

solicitude for the widespread 
Drum of Justace. . ... T , . 

nation of justice. He intioducedi 

the famous Drum of Justice, called Tabl-i-Adl r whichi 
the importunate suppliant used to beat once in. case ofc 
a charge of enmity, twice if the wrong done was not 
righted, tbuee times if a theft or a robbery took place,. 
and four times if a murder was committed.. The: 
drum might not have been frequently beaten, but 
the Emperor's sense of justice and! his care and! 
concern for its impartial .and effective; administration 
jully borne out by it 


He made an elaborate classification of the people 
of his empire, created gradations of 
ranks constructed palaces for their 
entertainment and fixed days for 
giving them audience. The first class, significantly 
styled as Ahl-i-S'adat, or the blessed, consisted 
of the learned and the pious, the law-officers and the 
scientists of the kingdom ; the second class, known as 
Ahl-i-Daulat, or the wealthy, were the Emperor's 
kinsfolk, his ministers and nobles as well as military 
officers; the tLird class, called Ahl-i-Murdd, or the 
people of hope, were musicians, singers and story-tellers 
as well as those who were favoured by nature with 
beauty and refinement. As this class depended upon 
the charity of His Majesty for maintenance, it should 
have been named Ahl-i-Tarab, or the party of amuse- 
ment, inasmuch as they pleased the Emperor with their 
songs, beauty and music. 

To each of the heads of thesg classes was given 
a Sahm, or arrow, a a mark of distinction. Khudamlr, 
a contemporary chronicler, informs us that during 
the days he was employed, the Sahm-us-S'adat was in 
charge of Maulana Muhammad FarghaH, who was 
entrusted with the specific performance of the affairs 
of the Ahl-i-S'adat. He fixed the stipends and 
scholarships of the Sayyads, Shaikhs, scholars, 
religious recluses, professors, teachers and research- 
scholars, and with him rested their appointment as 
well as dismissal. The Sahm-ud-Dauldh was held by 
Amir Hindu Beg, who was* responsible for the 
management of the affairs of the Akl-i-Daulat, and 


it was one of his duties to fix the grades ol pay 
and ranks of soldiers and servants of the State. 
The Sahm-ul-Murad was assigned to Amir Desai whose 
principal duty consisted in controlling the affairs of 
the Ahl-i-Murdd and supplying the necessary 
requirements of splendour at the Mughal Court. 

The Padshah also divided the days of the week 

and fixed two days for each of the 

audience. above-named classes of inhabitants 

as follows : Thursdays and Saturdays 

for the Ahl-i-S'adat, Sundays ~nd Tuesdays for the 

Ahl-i~Daulat, Mondays and Wednesdays for the 

Ahl-i-Murad; and Friday was reserved for Namdz-i- 

Juma 9 , or congregational prayers. 

The three classes enumerated above were 

sub-divided into twelve smaller ones, 
Twelve Sub- i ,1 -,1 

divisions. and arrows of gold, with varying 

proportions of alloy mixed with them, 
were distributed among them in order of importance 
as follows : The first of the purest gold was given to 
the Emperor, indicating his royal prerogative the 
highest rank ; the second to the royal family, provincials 
and other high officials ; the third to the literati and 
religious men ; the fourth to the Maliks, Amirs and 
nobles; the fifth to the courtiers and His Majesty's 
personal servants ; the sixth to the general employees ; 
tiie seventh to the harems and well-behaved female- 
servants of the royal household ; the eighth to the 
young maid-servants of the Imperial Harem\ the 
ninth to the treasurers and stewards of the State; 
the tenth to the fighting class the officers of the 


rank and file of the Imperial armies ; the eleventh to 
the mentals ; and the twelfth to the palace-guards, 
camel-drivers and the like. 

The preceding account leaves an impression upon 

_ .. the mind that Humayun was a 

Court-Scholars. . J 

magnificent prince, profoundly in- 
terested in the well-being of his subjects. Apart from 
this, it clearly reveals the importance he attached and 
the place he assigned to the learned and the pious, 
the musicians and the story-tellers. Khudamlr, the 
well-known author of the Habib-us-Siyar, was one 
of his literary associates ; Jauhar, the celebrated 
author of the Tazkirat-ul-Waqiydt-i-Humayun, or 
Private Memoirs of Humayun, was his personal 
attendant, who, as such, had ample chances of 
personally observing a 1 ! that he embodied in his book ; 
Abdul Latif, the learned author of the Lub-ut-TwariJch, 
was also invited by him to adorn his Court, but he 
arrived at the Imperial Capital after the death of 
the Emperor; Shahab-ud-Din KhafI, the unequalled 
enigmatist and chronogramatist of the time, enjoyed 
his patronage; and Shaikh Husain, the honoured 
professor of a gorgeous madrasah at Delhi, was 
another recipient of his favours. All this bears 
eloquent testimony to the fact that Humayun was a 
sympathetic patron of letters. 

Humayun was a great bibliophile. He had 
collected a large number of books in 
the Imperial Library. .Under his 
special firm^n^ Sher Mandal, the 
pleasure-house of Sher Shah Sun, was turned into a 


library during his second reign. So intense was his 
love for the best books of the day that even in his 
military undertakings he used to take with him a 
select library for his own use. In spite of the fact 
that he was constantly occupied in a fatal contest with 
a host of enemies, he managed to spare time to spend 
in studies. Count Noer informs us that even at the 
time of his flight from India he took with him his 
favourite books along with his faithful librarian , Lala 
Beg, officially known as Baz Bahadur. 

Such a scholarly sovereign cannot be said to 
have neglected the education of his 
subjects. At this distant date there 
is at least one instance of a college 
founded by him at Delhi. One of the most competent 
professors of this institution was Shaikh Husain. It 
also appears that the beautiful tomb of Humayun one 
of the finest Mughal monuments still seen in the 
neighbourhood of Delhi was, at one time, used as 
a place of instruction, for which eminent scholars and 
influential men were appointed as guardians. 

Humayiin loved beautiful gardens quite as much 
as his father. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, his long drawn-out struggle 
with Sher Shah Suri did not allow him sufficient time 
*o turn his artistic fancy to this peaceful occupation. 
Nevertheless, his reign was marked by the plantation 
of at least one noble garden at Delhi the one attached 
to his tomb, which ij still a thing of beauty and a 
joy for ever. 


Humayun was deeply religious. He carefully 

observed the dogmas of his faith 

religious beliefs. an( * always tried to live like a true 

Muslim. All thought that he was 

a staunch Sunni, but his profound love and respect 

for the Ahl-i-Bait (Family of the Prophet) shows that 

he was favourably inclined towards the Shia Faith, 

and his leaning in favour of that faith is borne out 

by the *act that the entire machinery of his government 

was in the hands of the Stu&s. 

In private life, Hnmayfm was a delightful friend. 

In the camp, he was a bon comrade 
andestlmaS r of his soldiers and State officers. 

He was a faithful friend, an obedient 
son, an affectionate brother. As a man of letters, he 
passed most of his leisure hours in social intercourse 
and literary discussions. According to Ferishta, he 
was a prince as remarkable for his wit and humour as 
for the urbanity of his manners. In the opinion of 
Stanley Lane-Poole 'his virtues were Christian, and 
his whole life was that of a gentleman '. At times 
he was capable of immense energy and often rose to 
the height of important occasions and controlled 
serious situations with the singleness of purpose ; but 
some of his best qualities were marred by the excessive 
use of opium, to which he was badly addicted. The 
heroic fortitude with which he bore the misfortune* 
which befell him during his fugitive life, the buoyancy 
of his temper and the cheerfulness of his disposition 
exact universal sympathy and admiration. His 
unqualified indolence and generosity spoiled his career 


and often deprived him of the fruits of his victories. 
But for the fact that he vvas eclipsed by the extra- 
ordinary genius of Sher Shah, who was undoubtedly 
superior to him in military skill and administrative 
acumen, his talents would have found full scope and he 
would have ranked with the great, though not with the 
greatest kings of India. While making an estimate of 
his abilities, we must take into consideration the 
difficulties in which he found himself at the time of 
his accession: the treachery of his brothers, the 
opposition of the Afghans who regarded the Mughals 
as foreigners, and the precarious condition of the 
Mughal Empire, which his father had founded but 
had not consolidated. So, if Humayun failed to retain 
what he had received as patrimony, viz., the Mughal 
Empire, it was due more to the baffling political 
situation, which he had before him, than to his 
personal faults and failures. 


Sher Shah and his Successors 

A period of fifteen years elapsed between the over- 

f . , . throw and the re-establishment of the 

Introductory. . 

Mughal pmpire m India. The House 

of Sur, founded by Sher Sh&h Suri, bridged over the 
interval. The l : fe of the founder of the new dynasty 
affords an excellent instance of how the early days of 
great men aVe often, if not always, crowded with mis- 
fortunes, to which, to a certain extent, they owe their 
future greatness. 

Sher Shah's original name was Farld. He was 
born in the year 1486 A. C. at Hi^sar 
Firozz, where tys grandfather held a 
joglr. His father, Hasan, was a 
jdgirddr of Sasram and Khwaspur in Bihar. His early 
boyhood was neglected by his father owing to the 
ill- treatment of his step-mother, i Disgusted with 
his step-mother and the step-motherly treatment of his 
father, who was devoted to the youngest of his four 
wives and who treated her sons with preference, Farld 
left his home and joined the service of his father's 
benefactor, Jamal Khan, at Jaunpur. There he applied 
himself sedulously to the study of Arabic and Persian. 
His receptive mind imbibed and 'assimilated all that was 
imparted to him. Impressed by his industry and 


activity of mind, Jamal Khan, the governor of Bihar, 
sent a message to Hasan, asking him to treat his son 
kindly. < Farid returned home and his father entrusted 
him with the management of his jagirs, Sasram and 
Khwaspur. He managed his father's estate admirably 
and introduced the principle of direct settlement with 
the cultivators, which may be described as the Raiyat- 
wdrl System in modern terminology. After protecting 
the husbandmen from oppression and placing the revenue 
administration of the estate on a sound basis, he set 
himself to the task of reducing the refractory Zamlndars 
to obedience. Between 1511 A. C. and 1518 A. C., 
when he was in charge of his father's jagirs, he gained 
considerable experience. During this time, as his 
biographer observes, ' he was unconsciously serving his 
period of apprenticeship for administering the empire of 
Hindustan.' In 1519 A. C. he was again compelled to 
qait his home owing to the hostile influence of his 
step-mother. He went to Bihar and entered the service 
of its governor, Bahar Khan, son of Darya Khan Lohani. 
It was under Bahar Khan that he acquired influence and 

From 1522 A. C. to 1526 A. C. Farid was in the 

service of Bahar Khan, who greatly 

activities, appreciated his services in the civil 

and revenue departments. In one 

of the hunting expeditions of his master he killed a tiger 

and received from him the title of Sher Khan in 

appreciation of that heroic deed. But differences having 

arisen between him and his master, he resigned his 

service and entered that of Babar. In recognition of 


his meritorious services Babar bestowed upon him the 
governorship of several parganas, including those of his 
father. On the death of Bahar Khan his son, Jalal Khan, 
became king under the regency of Sher Khan, who 
gained considerable power and influence during the 
minority of Jalal. When Jalal came of age, he refused 
to play the second fiddle. Smarting under the galling 
tutelage of an ambitious Afghan, he invited the assistance 
of the r"ler of Bengal, but the allies were defeated at 
Surajgarh and Sher Khan became the ruler of Bihar. 
Sher Khan'b spirit -vas restless from the beginning. 
After the acquisition of Bihar, he 

turned his attention towards Bengal, 
whose anarchical state offered a 
favourable field for his ambitious enterprise. Early in 
the year 1536 A. C. he set out from Bihar and appeared 
before the walls of Gaur. Mahmud Shah, the ruler of 
Bengal, instead of repelling the invader, bought him off 
with a heavy bribe. The following year he repeated his 
expedition of Bengal. He captured Gaur after a pro- 
tracted siege and then attacked the stronghold of 
Rohtas, which soon capitulated. Thus ended, for a 
while, the independence of Bengal. 

When Humayun heard of Sher Khan's successes in 

the east, he lost no time in advancing 

Recovery of towards Bengal with a large Mughal 

Humtyun. army. At his approach, the 'wily 

Afghan' retired to Bihar and evaded 

his enemy. The Mughals occupied Gaur and rechristen- 

ed it Jannatabad. The Afghans, however, compensated 

themselves in another quarter for their losses : They 


seized upon the imperial territories in Bihar and jaunpur 
and overran the country as far as Kanauj. 

Again, when Humayun heard about Sher Khan's 

activities in Bihar and Jaunpur, 
Battle of Chausa. a( . 

ordered his army to march against him under his own 
command. He crossed the Ganges near Munghir, but 
soon found himself in a serious situation. He tried to 
make peace with the Afghan war-lord, but in v?in. At 
Chausa, an engagement was fought between the Afghans 
and the Mughals, in which f he latter were defeated 
and their Emperor plunged into the river flowing by and 
would have drowned had not Nizam, a water-carrier, 
saved his life. Nizam was allowed to rub as king for 
two days and all the officers were ordered to carry out 
his wishes. 

After his victory in the battle of Chausa, Sher 
aSSUmed the title f ^ eT Sh fih ' 

Battle of Kanauj, 

The coins were struck and the Khutba 

was read in his name. In short, all the formalities of 
kingship were gone through and there remained not the 
least semblance of allegiance to the Mughal Emperor. 
Humayun was now assured of the superiority of Sher 
Shah. He now realised how shaky his position was. 
He tried to enlist the assistance of his brothers, but 
failed. The latter not only refused to co-operate with 
him against the Afghan danger, but hampered his 
preparations as much as they could Sher Shah 
availed himself of the dissensions among the surviving 
sons of Babar. He crossed the Ganges at the head of 
his army and took his position near Kanauj. Humayun 


advanced from his capital and encamped opposite to 
Sher Shah. In the battle that ensued, Humayun was 
defeated and put to flight. 

Sher Shah was now the undisputed ruler of 

r* * r 01. Bengal. Bihar, Jaunpur, Delhi and 

Conquests of Sher r TT . , . . 

Shah : the Punjab Agra. Hitherto his energies were 

concentrated on the expulsion of the 

Mughals from India ; now that he 
was successful in achieving his object, he launched 
upon a career of new conquests. The Punjab was the 
first to fall into his hands. It was willingly handed 
over to him by Kamran. After occupying the Punjab, 
Sher Shah reduced the Gakhar territory between the 
upper courses of the Indus and the Jhelum in order 
to guard against the danger from the North- West; for 
Kamran, the ruler of Kabul, and Mirza Haider, the 
ruler of Kashmir, might combine together at any time 
and attack him. Constructing a strong fort (Rohtas) 
in Jhelum, he left 50,000 men under the command of 
his trusted generals and returned to Bengal to re-organise 
its administration. 

After quelling rebellions and disturbances and 

establishing peace in the province of 
of Malwa Bengal, Sher Shah turned his attention 

to Malwa. During the weak rule 
of Mahmud II, Mallu Khan, one of the local chiefs, 
taking advantage of the disorganised state of things, 
took possession of Mandu, Ujjain, Sarangpur and a few 
other districts, and set up an independent kingdom 
under his own control. Besides Mallu Khan, two 
othej independent chiefs had established tiieir sway 

75 80 85 90 


over vast tracts of thu country. MalwS and Delhi 
being so closely situated, Sher Shah's fears were well- 
founded. Therefore, he set out to conquer that kingdom 
lest some ambitious and powerful neighbour should 
successfully fish in the troubled waters* He reduced 
Gwalior, Sarangpur, Ujjain and completed the conquest 
of Malwa by the end of the year 1542 A. C. 

The conquest of Malwa was followed by a series 

of conquests in Rajputana. Raisin 
Conquests in , . . c 

Rajputana. was attacked and occupied in 1543 

A. C. Sind was conquered and then 
Jodhpur, the capital of Marwar, was besieged. Here 
the Rajputs offered such a stout resistance that Sher 
Shah was compelled to have recourse to a ruse. He caused 
letters, containing the following request of the nobles 
of Maldeva of Marwar, to be forged and thrown near 
the camp of the Rajah : 

" Let not the King permit any anxiety or doubt to 
find its way to his heart. During the battle we will seize 
Maldeva and bring him to you." 

The trick succeeded, for when Maldeva came to 
know the text of the letters, he suspected treachery 
and decided to retreat without resistance. The Rajputs 
gave him all assurances of fidelity, but he would not 
believe. In the battle that was fought, the Rajputs 
displayed extreme valour, but victory sided with the 
Afghans. Encouraged by this victory, Sher Shah occupied 
Mount Abu and then advanced to Chittor, which was 
taken and entrusted to an Afghan officer. Having 
secured his hold en Rajputana, Sher Shah undertook 
an expedition against the Rajah of Kalanjar. The 


Rajputs again displayed their \ alour, but the Afghans 
were successful. During the siege, when Sber Shah 
himself was superintending the batteries, a bomb 
exploded and injured him fatally. He was removed 
to his tent, only to die there. This took place on May 
22, 1545 A. C. Thus ended the eventful career of 
Sher Shah, the founder of the Sur Dynasty and the 
retriever of the fallen fortunes of the Afghan Monarchy, 
Born in India, Sher Shah had acquired an intimate 
knowledge of Indian life and character. 
**e had had enough of experience in the 
worK of administration while he was 
in charge of his lather's estate. As a king, he proved 
himself a very capable statesman and administrator. 
In many respects he anticipated the work of Akbar the 
Great. "The whole of his brief administration," says 
Mr. Keen "was based on the principle of union." His 
methods of dealing with the peoples of India, so 
different in character and culture, religion and language, 
affords a culminating proof of his sagacious statesman- 
ship. By his administrative reforms and humanitarian 
measures he rendered his reign so very illustrious in 
spite of its short duration. He laboured day and night 
for reforming the social and intellectual condition of 
his subjects and advancing their material interests. 
The principal features of his administration are outlined 
in the account that follows. 

For purposes of efficient administration, the whole 

Empire was partitioned into 47 Divi- 

fheEmpire. sions, the commands of which were 

distributed among the chieftains of 


hostile clans, whose intern jcine feuds and mutual jealousies 

were a sufficient guarantee against their ambitions. A 
Division had several Sarkdrs t each having a Shiqdar-i- 
Shiqdaran, or Shiqdar-in-Chief, and a Munsif-i- 
Munsifan, or Munsif-in-Chief . A Sarkdr comprised a 
number of Parganas, each having a Shiqdar, an Amln, 
a Khazanchl, a Munsif, a Hindi writer and a Persian 
clerk to write accounts. A Pargana embraced many 
villages, each having a Muqaddam, a Chaudhrl and a 
Patwdrl, who served as intermediary officers between 
the State and the subjects. The Shiqdar was a soldier, 
whose chief duty consisted in enforcing the Imperial 
firmans and furnishing military aid to the Amln when- 
ever he required it. The Amln was a civil officer, who 
was responsible to the Central Government for his 
actions. The Shiqdar-in-Chief and the Munsif-in-Chief 
were the principal civil officers who looked after the 
work of the officers of the Parganas under their charge. 
Their chief duty was to watch the conduct of the people 
and to administer justice. The Subahddr, now known 
as provincial governor, was in charge of a Division 
and was responsible only to the Crown for his actions, 
civil as well as military. The Crown Sher Shah was 
the fountain-head of all authority. He was the shadow 
of God on earth, answerable to no human authority. 
As an astute manager of the estate of his father, 
Sher Shah had realised at an early date 

Revenue d System. that the stabilit y \ his em P ire de P end ' 
ed upon the happiness of the agricul- 
turists. He had ahc understood that the traditional 
methods of the hereditary revenue officers deprived the 


State of a large amount of its dues. He, therefore, 
caused the whole land under the plough to be measured 
and portioned into bighds. The holding of every tenant 
was measured at harvest time and ^th of the gross 
produce was fixed as the share of the State. The agri- 
culturists were allowed the option of paying the land 
revenue in cash or in kind according to their conveni- 
ence. The industrious ryots were protected from 
obnoxious taxation and their interests were carefully 
looked after. No injury to cultivation was tolerated : 
Special guards were stationed to see that no damage 
was done to the growing crops. Agriculture was 
encouraged, forests were cleared and opened for culti- 
vation. Granaries were erected and corn stored for the 
times of need. The instructions to the collectors of 
land revenue were couched in humanitarian terms and 
were worked with great lenity. Advances were made to 
the cultivators to relieve their distress in bad davs. 
This efficient system of revenue settlement, based on the 
actual measurement of the land untier cultivation, was 
subsequently developed by Akbar the Great and has, in 
all its essential features, survived in British India under 
the name of 'Raiyatwari Settlement'. % 

Even-handed justice was administered throughout 
the length and breadth of the empire. 
06*58 and Mir-i-Adls (judges) tried 
civil suits and criminal cases in the 
Dar-ul-'Adalat, or Courts of Justice. They dealt out 
inflexible justice, so much so that no one could evade law 
and escape punishment by reason of his high birth or rank. 
Punishments awarded were very severe, so severe as 'to 


set an example'. The Fanchdyat System also was in 
vogue. The Hindus had their disputes decided in the 
Panchdyats. The jurisdiction of these courts of 
arbitration was restricted to civil disputes relating to 
inheritance, succession and the like. 

Sher Shah organised a most modern police force. He 
did not make any punitive police out 
PoUc^lSrce. f of gentlemen, but converted the 
robbers and the rebels, the 
malcontents and the miscreants into custodians of 
peace. He repressed crimes in his kingdom by intro- 
ducing the principle of local responsibility and enforcing 
it throughout his dominions. The Muqaddams were 
responsible for the detection of cases of theft and 
highway robbery. If they failed to find out the thieves 
and the robbers, they were forced to make good the 
losses. Likewise, if a murder occurred within their 
jurisdiction and they failed to produce the murderer, 
they were arrested and put to death. This system of 
local responsibility ' resulted in the complete security of 
life and property. The travellers and wayfarers slept 
without the least anxiety even in a desert, and the 
Zamlnddrs themselves kept watch over them for fear 
of the king*. The Police Department was greatly 
assisted by a body of censors of public morals, called 
Muhtasibs, who put down such crimes as adultery and 
drinking and enforced the observance of religious laws. 
There also existed a regular department of secret 
service, because espionage was ab- 
Secret Service. so i ute ly indispensable in that despotic 

age. An efficient army of diligent spies was employed 


in order to keep the Emperor in touch with all that 
occurred in his empire. 

Sher Shah abolished many oppressive taxes and 

_ _ _ took only those which he thought 

Tariff System. J & 

were legal and less burdensome. So 

he made a clean sweep of all internal customs and 
allowed the imposition of excise duties on the frontier 
and at the places of sale within the empire. This re- 
construction of the tariff system revived trade and 
commerce, reduced the burden of taxation and removed 
discontent to a considerable extent. The Jizid was 
also abolished. 

Sher Shah paid great attention to the development 
of the means of communication and 
Communication. transportation. His name is inti- 
mately associated with the construc- 
tion of roads and highways on a large scale. The 
longest of his roads was the one running from 
Sunargaon to the Indus. Besides this, there were 
many other important roads which were so dexterously 
planted that they linked almost all the strategic cities 
of the empire to the Imperial Capital. Of them, three 
deserve specific mention at this place: (1) from Agra 
to Burhanpur, (2) from Agra via Bianah to the borders 
of Marwar, and (3) from Lahore to Multan. On both 
sides of these roads shady trees were planted and at 
intervals serais were constructed for the comfort and 
convenience of travellers. Each of the serais had 
a well, a mosque and a garden in it. It waS looked 
after by a set of officers, viz., r *a,h Imam, a Mu'azzin 
and some watermen, appointed by the State* Inside 


the serais, separate accommodation was allotted to 
Hindus and Muslims. Brahmans were employed for 
the convenience of the former and Muslims for the 
service of the latter. Dwelling upon the importance 
of these serais, Mr. Qanungo remarks that they became 
'the veritable arteries of the empire, diffusing a new 
life among its hitherto benumbed limbs '. There sprang 
up around them busy market towns and a brisk trade 
was the natural consequence. 

Sher Shah was equally interested in the maintenance 

, . of a highly organised postal service. 

Postal Service. * B r 

The serais, referred to, served as 

dak chowkis, and through them the news of the 
remotest parts of the empire were dispatched to the 
Emperor. In every serai two horses were kept to 
provide postal service; and foot-runners and horsemen 
were posted along the highways and they carried the 
imperial firmans^ or dispatches, from place to place. 
If there existed an excellent postal system under Sher 
Shah, it was because he had sufficiently developed the 
means of communication. 

Sher Shah introduced several reforms in the army. 

In the first place, he tried to put an 
Military Reforms. end to ^ feudal system ^ 

endeavoured to bring his soldiers in close contact with 
himself. Therefore, he combined in his person the 
functions of the Commander-in-Chief and the Pay- 
Master General. He himself paid the soldiers and 
their officers and told them to obey their immediate 
officers not as their personal chiefs but as servants of 
the Emperor. Previously, whenever a provincial 


gove-nor rebelled against the Sultan, his soldiery sided 
with him and not with the latter. Sher Shah at once 
abolished this system and ordered his soldiers to obey 
the imperial firmans first and those of their immediate 
officers after. Thus, with one stroke of wisdom the 
main cause of rebellions and revolts was removed. Second- 
ly, Sher Shah checked fraudulent musters by reviving 
Ala-ud-DIn Khilji's system of branding the horses in 
the service of the State, and drew up descriptive rolls 
of the troopers. The marks on the persons of the 
soldiers and Oil the hodies of their horses were entered 
in their descriptive rolls and compared at the time of 
inspection. Soldiers were recruited by the Emperor 
himself and their salaries were fixed after personal 
inspection. The system of assigning jaglrs in lieu of 
service was abolished and cash salaries were paid to 
the rank and file from the State Treasury. Military 
officers were not allowed to stay in one place for more 
than two years. During their f marches they were 
ordered to behave properly and were strictly warned 
against damaging the growing crops. Finally, Sher 
Shah established fortified posts in many parts of his 
kingdom in order to prevent the possibility of external 
invasion. As a result, India enjoyed complete 
immunity from foreign attacks, and the recalcitrant 
population was kept in check. 

At his accession Sher Shah found the currency 

Currency Reform. SyStem . f the COuntr y under his 
control in confusion. He knew that 

the financial stability of a government depended upon 
its credit and credit upon its currency. He, therefore, 


undertook the task of reforming the coinage, and 
establishing the financial stability of his government. 
He issued gold, silver and copper coins in abundance 
and gave them a fixed standard of weight, fineness 
and execution. The twofold advantage of the reform 
in the current coins of the country was that prices 
were low and trade was brisk. 

Sher Shah was a remarkable promoter of public 
welfare. He encouraged agriculture, 

Welfa S re f UC systematically constructed roads and 
bridges, laid out beautiful gardens 
and terraced-walks, erected aim-houses, hospitals and 
caravan-serais, patronised art and literature, founded 
maktabs and madrasahs, established mosques and 
monasteries, granted stipends and scholarships to the 
teachers and the taught, maintained a large number 
of free kitchens in short, he tried to do all that he 
could for the betterment of his subjects. His guiding 
principle was that no one should be deprived of 
his due share of State benefactions and that no one 
should have a superfluity of the same. 

Sher Shah was a good builder also. He made 

A . . a magnificent city at Delhi and 

Architecture. J 

erected the famous fort of Rohtas 
in the Punjab. The mausoleum, which he built while 
he was living and in which he was buried after his 
\ieath, is one of the splendid monuments in India. 
The palace he constructed in the Fort of Agra has 
exacted the encomiums of Fergusson, the historian 
of Indian Architecture? who writes : 

" Ini the citadel of Agra there stands or at least 


stood when I was there a fragment of a palace built 
by Sher Shah, or his son Salim, which was as exquisite 
a piece of decorative art as anything of its class in India. 
Being one of the first to occupy the ground, this palace 
was erected on the highest spot within the fort ; hence 
the present Government, fancying this a favourable site 
for the erection of a barrack, pulled it down, and 
replaced it by a more than usually hideous brick erec- 
tion of their own. This is now a warehouse, in white- 
washed ugliness, over the marble palaces of the Moghals 
a fit standard of comparison of the tastes of the 
two races. 

"Judging from the fragment that remains, and the 
accounts received on the spot, this palace must have 
gone far to justify the eulogium more than once passed 
on the works of these Pathans that ' they built like 
giants and finished like goldsmiths ' : for the stones seem 
to have been of enormous size, and the details of 
most exquisite finish. It has passed away, however, 
like many another noble building of its class, 

under our rule. Mosques we have 

generally spared, and sometimes tombs, because they 
were unsuited to our economic purposes, and it would 
not answer to offend the religious feelings of the 
natives. But when we deposed the kings and appro- 
priated their revenues, there was no one to claim their 
now useless abodes of splendour. It was consequently 
found cheaper either to pull them down, or use them 
as residences or arsenals than to keep them up, so that 
very few now remain for the adrrfiration of posterity."* 

* Ferguson's Indian and Eastern Architecture, pp. 572-73. 


Sher Shah's ideal of kingship was very high ^nd be 

it said to his credit that he fell little 

vShcr Shah's ideal ^ *. t *. u j j. i T^ 

of kingship. s " ort * !t - He use d to sa y : " 

behoves the great king to be always 

active." He himself looked into the minutest details of 
his government and kept a vigilant watch on his civil 
and military officers. He spared no pains in advancing 
the interests of his subjects. In his own words : 

"The essence of royal protection consists in pro- 
tecting the life and property of the subjects. They 
(kings) should use the principles of justice and equality 
in all their dealings with all classes of people, and 
should instruct powerful officials so that they may try 
their best to refrain from cruelty and oppression in their 

Suffice it to say that he lived up to this ideal and 
secured the sincere homage and acquiescent good-will 
of his subjects, Hindus and Muslims alike. 

Sher Shah is a most interesting figure in the history 

TT . oi Muslim India. Commencing career 

His estimate. . 

as a private soldier, he raised himself 

gradually to the sovereignty of India and ruled success- 
fully for about five years. He was a self-made man, 
one who never hesitated to handle a spade even in 
the capacity of an emperor. He never indulged in unne- 
cessary bloodshed and was all averse to cruelty. He was 
3, staunch SunnI, but was not intolerant of other 
creeds. He was a bigot without intolerance. He was 
kindly disposed towards his Hindu subjects. He exempt- 
ed them from the JiziZ and other taxes imposed upon 
the Zimtnls (non-Muslims). He encouraged education 


among them and took them in his service without restric- 
tion. As a general, he occupies a high place in history. 
His military operations against Humayun were directed 
with wonderful skill and strategy. In the space of a 
decade he overthrew the Mughal Empire and revived 
the Afghan Rule by founding the Sur Dynasty. His 
successful campaigns against Malwa, Bundelkhand and 
Rajputana speak much for his military genius and 
show that he was a great military commander. But 
he will go deep down in history more for his adminis- 
tration which vvas ju^t, wise and vigorous, than for 
anything else. If he knew how to conquer, he also 
knew how to consolidate his conquests by his indefatig- 
able industry and sleepless vigilance. By his adminis- 
trative reforms, by the land revenue system which he 
introduced, and by tho policy of religious toleration 
which he always adhered to, he prepared the ground 
for the greatness of Akbar the Great. In view of his 
civil and military achievements, one is inclined to agree 
with one who says that 'if he had b'een spared he would 
have established his dynasty, and the great Mughals 
would not have appeared on the stage of history'. Un- 
fortunately, like Babar, he enjoyed a brief ^eign of about 
five years ; but all that he accomplished during this 
short period, entitles him to rank with the greatest 
sovereigns of India. 

Sher Shah was succeeded by his young son, Jalal 
Khan, who was proclaimed king 
because of his arrival in the camp in 
time on the death of his father. 
Becoming king, he assumed the title of Sallm'Shah, but 


soon he discovered the truth of the maxim : " Uneasy lies 
the head that wears a crown". The turbulence of the 
unruly Afghans compelled him to have recourse to drastic 
measures. He issued several regulations and strove 
hard to strengthen his position. He arrested the 
Amirs, who were against him, and imprisoned them, 
or put them to death, as he thought fit. Although he 
fell far short of his father's standard, he proved himself 
quite a capable king. Barring out a few disturbances, he 
enjoyed a peaceful reign of about eight years. 

The first to feel the force of his arn*s was Shuja'at 
Khan, the governor of Malwa, who had 
M^wa^and^ accumulated enormous wealth and had 
the Punjab. effectively established hfc authority 

over the country under his rule. 
Receiving intelligence of the indentions of the Emperor, 
he sent submissive and reverential representations and 
so secured his safety. Azim Humayun, governor of 
the Punjab, was less prudent but more arrogant. 
When Salim Shah summoned him to his court, he did 
not go personally but sent a substitute to act as his 
representative. The King took this as an insult and 
an act of insubordination. He issued peremptory 
orders to his army and set out at its head against the 
Punjab. Azim anticipated drastic action on the part 
of the Emperor and therefore broke into open 
lebellion. He was defeated at Ambala and put to 
flight. Again he gathered strength and fought an 
engagement and again he was defeated and put to flight. 
In Kashmir he was shot dead by certain tribesmen. 
The Punjab was occupied. 


Another important event of Salim Shah's reign was 
the rise of a religious movement. 
r ~ * Under the influence of Shaikh Alai's 

pursuasive eloquence it roused the religious zeal of the 
masses and created disturbances in the Punjab. But, 
when it assumed threatening dimensions and its 
adherents began to defy the State authorities in the 
open, the Sultan was compelled to order the immedi- 
ate arrest and execution of the Shaikh. The orders 
were carried out and Alai was put to death. With the 
death of its author died the movement when it 
was quite in its inception, its followers gradually dwindl- 
ing into insignificance. 

Salim Shah adopted a policy of repression in order 

to establish his authority in his king- * 
Government . . , .. . . 

ot Sriliin Shah. dom. He maintained a well-organised 

standing army and through it he 
enforced his authority. He curbed the power 01 his 
Amirs and took away from them all the instruments 
of war they had in their possession. He deprived 
them of their elephants and put an end to the practice of 
granting money for a certain quota of horses supplied 
to the State. He held the strings of tne State coffers 
tight in his own hand and effected economies wherever 
it was possible. He maintained an efficient spying 
system and kept himself informed about all the events 
of his reign through it. A new code of regulations was 
formulated and justice was administered in accordance 
with it. Neither the Qazls nor the Muftis, only 
the Munsifs, were empowered to interpret these 
regulations. In order to enforce the new code 'throughout 


the kingdom special troops were stationed and the King 
himself endeavoured to see that the machinery of his 
government worked well. 

Salmi Shah died in 1553 A. C. He was followed 
by his son, Firoz Khun, to the throne. 

Muhammad 'Achl The latter was, however, killed by 
Shah : 1553-5o. hjs und ^ Mubariz K^ who became 

king and assumed the title of 
Muhammad Shah 'Adil. The new king proved himself 
a profligate debauchee. He soon earned for himself 
the nickname of 'Adali, ' the fooMsh ' ; Tor immediately 
after his enthronement, he began to dissipate the 
resources of the Imperial Treasury in senseless prodigality. 
Himself a chartered libertine, he allowed t^e adminis- 
tration of his empire to be controlled by his clever and 
capable minister, Hemu, who managed the affairs of 
the State with great vigour and wisdom. But even 
then it was impossible to bring under control the 
jarring elements that had escaped at the death of 
Salim Shah. Rebellions broke out everywhere and 
the entire machinery of administration collapsed. 
The King's own cousin, Ibrahim Khun, seized upon Agra 
and Delhi, but he was soon beaten by his brother, 
Sikandar Sur, who succeeded in securing for himself the 
whole of the territory between the Indus and the 
Ganges. Such was the chaotic condition of Hindustan 
when messengers were sent to the ex- Emperor 
Humayun, inviting him to occupy the throne of his 

This brings us to tne main theme of our history. 
Humayur, our homeless hero, was not idling away his 


time. Though defeated, deposed and driven out of 
India, he was not altogether deserted by fortune ; the 
stars in their courses were fighting for him. With 
the help of the Persian King, he attacked India, 
defeated Sultan Sikandar Sur and took possession 
of his lost empire. After a brief reign of twelve 
months he fell from the stairs of his library and died 
on January 24, 1556 A.C. 



(1556-1605 A. C.) 
Reconquest and Reconstruction 

Humayun was succeeded by his illustrious son, 
j t Akbar, who stands as a splendid and 

unrivalled figure in the annals of 
Indian history. He successfully ruled in this country 
for about fifty years, and during this period he made 
mighty and enduring contributions to the cause of 
human happiness. His versatile activity, embracing 
almost every sphere of human endeavour, and many- 
sided achievements assign him a place second to none 
in the history of India. No other Mughal Emperor 
is extolled so much by historians as he for his sagacious 
statesmanship, dexterous diplomacy and military skill. 
In this short space it is impossible to do justice to his 
reign, which most unmistakably comprises the brightest 
epoch of Indian history. The present account is, 
therefore, bound to be imperfect. It does not, however, 
omit anything important. For the sake of clarity and 
convenience the subject is divided into five parts: 
(1) Reconquest and Reconstruction, (2) Territorial 
Annexations, (3) Din-i-Ilahl, (4) Administration, and 
(3) Literature and Fine Arts. 

Akbar was born at Amarkot on the 23rd of 

Akbar's early life. November, 1542 A. C. His father, 

Humayun, was out on an expedition 

against Sind with the Rajah of that place (Amarkot) 


when he received the news of the birth of his 
son. He searched the saddle bags of his escort and 
found only a bag of musk which he distributed among 
his friends and prayed that the fame of his son might 
spread in the world like the smell of that substance. 
The boy was brought up in the camp by his mother, 
Hamida Bano Begum. At the tender age of twelve 
months his father left him in Qandhar at the mercy of 
his uncle, Kamran. There his education was sadly 
neglected. At the age of five years his vindictive uncle 
exposed him f o a volley of shots fired by his father 
when the latter was besieging Kabul. Fortunately, 
however, he had a narrow escape. By the time he 
attained the age of twelve, he had acquired considerable 
skill in the control of camels, horses and elephants. 
He had had enough of experience in the use of arms 
and had seen much of warfare as a companion of his 
father in his fugitive life. At the age of thirteen he was 
called upon to occupy the throne of Hindustan on the 
death of his father. 

While Akbar was on his way back from the 

u . . Punjab, where he had gone with his 

His accession. J 

father's faithful friend, Bairam Khan, 
to put an end to the misgovernment of its governor, 
Abdul Mali, he received at Kalanaur the news of the 
death of his father. After performing the customary 
rites of mourning, the coronation ceremony was gone 
through in a garden on the 14th of February, 1556 
A. C. As the new king was only a boy of thirteen, 
Bairam Khan began to act as 1 regent and formally 
took charge of the Imperial Government.* Akbar's 


younger brother, Muhammad Hakim, was confirmed 
in his government of Kabul, which, though a dependen- 
cy of Hindustan, was none the less an independent 

After his restoration, Humfiyun did not live long to 
establish his authority in Hindustan. 

The political He died only a year after, and his 

condition of , , i r 

India in 1556. son, Akbar, therefore, succeeded 

to a troublous inheritance. In 1556 
A. C. anarchy and confusion reigned supreme in India 
and famine and pestilence were rampant in the rank 
and file. The fairest provinces of Northern India, 
including Delhi and Agra, were visited by plague, 
which carried away a large number of f he people. 
Politically, the throne of Delhi had become a bone of 
contention between the Afghans and the Mughals, and 
the country had been reduced to a mere geographical 
expression, or a congeries of small states. The 
sovereignty of North-West India was contested by 
Sikandar Sur on the one hand, and Muhammad Shah 
'Adil on the other. The former had collected a large 
arrny in the Punjab and was aspiring for the sovereignty 
of the whole of Hindustan ; the latter had retired to the 
eastern provinces and uas increasing the area of his 
influence there ; but his indomitable commander-in- 
chief, Hemu, who had earned for himself a unique 
military distinction by successfully fighting as many 
as twenty-two pitched battles, was advancing from 
Chunar, the capital of his master, towards Agra 
with a large army, gathering strength on his march 
from the enemies of the Mughal cause. Before Bairam 


Khan came to the rescue, Agru had fallen and TardI 
Beg, the Governor of r Delhi, had been defeated 
and put to flight After the fall of Agra, 
Hemu occupied Delhi, ascended the Mughal Throne, 
struck coins in his own name, raised the Imperial 
Canopy over his head and assumed the title of 
Vikramaditya. Consumed as he was with the ambition 
of conquests, he was equally aflamed with the idea of 
acquiring the empire of India. The fact that Humayun 
was dead and that a boy of thirteen was on the throne 
broadened the v horizon of his ambitions. Kabul, under 
Muhammad Hakim, was an independent kingdom to 
all intents and purposes. Its existence as such was 
threatened by Sulaiman of Badakhshan. Bengal 
enjoyed its independence under its Afghan Chiefs. 
The Rajputs of Rajasthan had recovered from the 
shock inflicted on them by Babar ; they were now in 
unchallenged possession of their castles. Malwa ?nd 
Gujarat had renounced their allegiance to the Central 
Government during the reign of Muhammad Tughluq, 
Gondwana was ruled by its own local chieftains. 
Orissa was independent. Kashmir, Sind and Balochistan 
were free from external control. The Deccan Sultanates 
of Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Golconda, Khandesh and 
Berar were ruled by their own Sultans, who were at 
daggers drawn with one another. The Hindu Empire 
of Vijayanagar then towered supreme in wealth, 
strength and civilization. The Portuguese were power- 
ful in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf ; they 
held the sway of the western sea-coast and possessed 
some good sea-ports, including Goa and Diu. 


Such was the situation of India when Akbar 
ascended the throne. It was fortunate 

ISt!lSk eof for * he Mughal Dynasty that the 
young Emperor had a powerful sup- 
porter and an excellent general and statesman in Bairam 
Khan, who served his master and secured his position 
till he attained the age of discretion. The first 
important thing that he was required to do as regent 
was to fight against Hemu, who was advancing against 
the Mughal Emperor at the head of a huge army. Almost 
all the officers of the Mughal armv advised the Emperor 
to retreat to Kabul, but Bairam Khan successfully 
resisted such a pusillanimous step as would have spoiled 
the prospects of the Mughal Dynasty. Forthwith he 
ordered the immediate arrest and execution of TardI 
Beg on a charge of misconduct in the face of the 
enemy, and himself marched out to oppose Hemu. 
Fo-tune favoured the resolute Mughal general from the 
outset. An advance-guard had already handicapped 
Hemu by capturing the whole park of his artillery. The 
two armies, each commanded by a military genius of no 
mean merit, came to severe blows at the memorable 
plain of Panipat. Hemu made a furious charge of his 
elephants and soon threw the left wing of the Mughal 
army into confusion, and there was considerable con- 
sternation in the Mughal Camp. The tide of victory 
turned at once in favour of the Mughals when, in the 
thick of fight, Hemu was hit in his eye with an arrow 
and rendered unconscious. The fall of the leader from 
his elephant decided the fate of the battle. The 
Mughals won the day. Hemfl, the hero and the hope 


of the Hindus, was taken prisoner and brought 
before the Emperor. Bairam was anxious to see the 
young emperor slaying a most formidable enemy, but 
the chivalrous Shahinsktih refused to do so, saying 
that it was unchivalrous to slay a fallen foe. There- 
upon Bairam Khzln took out his own sword and slew 

The victory at Panlpat removed the most powerful 
opponent of Akbar. Hemu was 
the'eatul defeated and slain. His army was 

ruthlessly routed. A large booty, 
including a big treasure and 1,500 elephants, fell into the 
hands of the victorious army. Delhi and Agra and the 
neighbouring districts were occupied. The way was 
prepared for further conquests. The hopes of the 
Hindus to establish theu own rule in India were dashed 
to the ground. The prestige of the Mughal arms was 
established and Akbar was hailed as the Emperor of 
Hindustan. The Afghan Rule came to an end and the 
Mughals began to rule in India. These were the net 
results of the Second Battle of PanTpat. 

A month after the Battle of Panlpat, Bairam Khan 

and Akbar turned their attention 

Submission of Sur towards the Sur claimants to the 

thr n6 f ^^ Bef re ^'^ CO "' 
elusions with Hemu, Bairam had sent 

an army against Sikandar Sur, who had retired to 
the Siwalik Hills and had taken shelter in the 
stronghold of Mankot, from where he could easily 
defy the authority of the Emperor. The fort was 
beleaguered and Sikandar was reduced to su^.h straits 


that he was compelled to sue for peace. He consented 
to surrender himself if he was decently provided for. 
The stronghold was occupied and Sikandar was assigned 
an estate in the east, where he died in 1569 A, C. In 
1557 A. C Muhammad Shah Adall met his death in a 
conflict with the king of Bengal. Thus, within a brief 
span of time, the three acknowledged adversaries of 
Akbar were got rid of, and he was now securely seated 
on the throne of Delhi. Next year (1558) Ajmer, 
Gwalior and Jaunpur were annexed to the Mughal 
Empire. After these conquests, Bairam Khan turned 
his serious attention to the internal administration of the 
country. But ere long he carne into conflict with his 
ambitious and impatient royal ward. The story of his 
rise and fall is an interesting episode in the early history 
of the present reign. 

A Turkman by birth and a Shia Muslim by faith, 
Bairam Khan was one of the most 

Bairam Khan, devoted and faithful followers of 

or Khan Bba. 

Humayun. He had suffered with his 

master all the privations of a fugitive life and had stood 
by him in some of his most trying situations. But for 
his advice and assistance, Humayun would not have 
been able to reconquer India. His loyalty towards 
Akbar was equally unmixed and his services to the 
Mughal cause were invaluable. It was at his instance 
chat the Second Battle of Panlpat was fought and a 
decisive victory won. At his accession Akbar cannot be 
said to have possessed any definite kingdom. It was 
during his regency that Delhi, Agra and the surrounding 
districts were occupied, and Ajmer, Gwalior and 


Jaunpur were conquered. It was he, again, who 
removed the rivals of his young master and securely 
seated him on the throne of India. His ability, age and 
experience enabled him to acquire an inestimable 
influence in the Mughal Empire. He was a shrewd 
politician and a rigid disciplinarian. He was jealous of 
his master's youthful friendships and would not tolerate 
any favours which the latter might bestow upon his 
servants without his consultation. 

Unfortunately enongh, Bairam Khan had made 

TT , ,, many enemies at the Court by his 

His fall. , . J 

haughty demeanour and arrogant 

behaviour. Hamlda Bano Bagum, the Queen-mother ; 
Maham Ankah, the foster-mother ; Adham Khan, a 
foster-brother ; and Shahab-ud-Dln, the Governor of 
Delhi all these disliked him for reasons of their own. 
They availed themselves of every occasion to foment 
the feelings of irritation between the Emperor and the 
Protector. At last a trifling incident brought about a 
serious quarrel between the two. Once, when Akbar 
was amusing himself with an elephant-fight, the two 
contesting animals got out of control. They broke 
through the enclosure, stampeded Bairam, Kuan's camp 
close by, and put his life in danger. In spite of Akbar's 
strong protestations that the occurrence was purely 
accidental, the Khan lost his temper and immediately 
ordered the execution of an innocent personal servant 
of His Majesty. At this Akbar's indignation knew no 
bounds. For some time there was a feeling of coldness 
between the Emperor and his Atallq (tutor), but a 
reconciliation was effected when the former soothed the 


ruffled feelings of the htter by giving him the hand 
of Salima Sultana, the niece of Humayun. But before 
long Bairam executed another courtier, Pir Muhammad, 
for an alleged offence. By such actions as these he not 
only strained his relations with the Emperor but also 
earned for himself a host of enemies at the Court. The 
appointment of his own kith and kin and co-religionists 
(Shias) to high offices in the State grossly offended the 
Sunnl Orthodoxy. His punishment of the Emperor's 
servants and courtiers for the most trivial misconduct 
had already estranged him to the Emperor ; but when 
the latter learnt that his regent was harbouring 
plans of placing Kamran's son, Abul yasim, on the 
throne, the tension took a serious turn. The breaking- 
point had already reached. Now a conspiracy was 
organised against him and at the instance of Hamida 
Bano Begum, Maham Ankah, Adham Khan and 
Shahab-ud-DIn, the Emperor went to Bianah, on the 
pretext of hunting, in order to discuss the matter. 
There it was arranged that he should go to Delhi to see 
his mother, who was given out to be ill. While he was 
with his mother, Maham Ankah employed all arts of 
intrigue against Bairam Khan. She fomented the 
feelings of the Emperor, who was already smarting 
under the galling tutelage of his rather domineering 
regent. Soon after his return from Delhi, Akbar issued 
the following declaration : ' It being our intention 
henceforth to govern our people by our judgment, let 
our well-wisher withdraw from all worldly attachments 
and retire to Mecca to pass the rest of his life in prayer, 
far-removed from the toils of public life. 1 Bairam 


Khan soon discerned what - was passing behind the 
screen. Realising that he had gone too far, he sent 
two trusty officers to the Court with * assurances of 
unabated loyalty towards the throne ', and offered 
* supplication and humility.' Akbar imprisoned the 
messengers and sent a certain Pir Muhammad Khan, 
once a subordinate of the Khan, at the instigation of the 
Court Party, in order to hasten his departure to Mecca. 
Bairam Khan's pride was touched to the quick, and in 
the outburst of his wrath, he broke into open 
rebellion. He was, however, defeated, taken prisoner 
and brought before the Emperor, who graciously 
pardoned him in view of his past services. When he 
reached Lahore, where the Emperor was holding his 
Court, he was greatly impressed by the reception 
accorded to him. He threw himself at his sovereign's 
feet and burst into tears. The forgiving King at once 
raised him up and made him take his former place on the 
right hand side at the head of the grandees of the 
Empire. Then His Majesty invested him with a 
magnificent robe of honour and offered him three 
alternatives : (1) If he preferred to remain at Court, he 
would be treated with profound honour as the benefactor 
of the Royal House ; (2) If he chose to remain in 
office, he would be given the governorship of one of the 
Imperial provinces, and (3) If he wished to retire to a 
religious life, he would be honourably provided for and 
comfortably escorted to on his pilgrimage to Mecca 
He replied that, having once lost his master's confidence, 
he was not willing to continue in his service any more 
and added that the clemency of the Padshah was 


enough, and his forgiveness was more than a regard 
for his former services. " Let me, therefore, turn my 
thoughts from this world," he said, " to another and be 
permitted to proceed to the Holy Shrine." The 
Padshah approved of his decision, provided him with a 
suitable escort and assigned him a liberal pension for 
his maintenance. But he was not destined to reach 
the ' Holy Shrine*. He was murdered on his way by a 
private enemy at Patan. This took place in January 
1561 A. C. 

Bairam Khan's dismissal cleared the way for the 
'Petticoat Court Party, the most prominent 

Government': member of which was Mahr.m Ankah, 

1560-64 A. C. , u- * u j v , 

whom historians have described as 

the 'prime confidante ' of the Ring in all the affairs of 
the State. While dwelling upon the dismissal of Bairam 
Khan, Dr. Smith remarks that the Emperor shook off 
the tutelage of the Khan-i-Khanan only to bring himself 
under the ' monstrous regiment of unscrupulous women ', 
and further observes that the most unscrupulous of them 
was Maham Ankah, who conferred high offices upon her 
worthless favourites. The Doctor is not at all justified 
in his remarks. His views are contradicted by facts. 
Akbar was not at all dominated by Maham Ankah. 
Had that been the case, the fate of Bairam Khan, after 
his fall, would have been terrible ; for he had no greater 
enemy at the Court than that women. It was quite 
contrary to her wishes that the Khan was so honourably 
treated after his rebellion. Again, if Akbar had really 
been undei the thumb of Maham Ankah, as he is alleged 


to have been, Adham Khan, her son, would have been 
the first man to receive a high title or a big jagir. But 
we know for certain that he was not entrusted with any 
responsible post in the State. Doubtless, he was once 
sent against Malwa at the head of an army, but when 
he misappropriated the spoils of war after success, 
the Emperor marched against him in person and chastis- 
ed him for his brazen insolence. Afterwards, when he 
murdsred Shams-ud-Dln Atka Khan, on whom the 
Emperor wished to bestow the office of Vakil, quite 
against the will of his foster-mother, he was twice 
thrown down from the ramparts of his fort, with the 
result that his brains were knocked out and his life 
came to an end. If, therefore, the Emperor had been 
under the influence of Maham Ankah, the punishment 
awarded to Adham Khan must have been much milder. 
That was, however, not so. Akbar acted independently 
according to his own judgment, though he sought the 
advice of the Court Party in certain affairs of the 
kingdom and held his foster-mother in high esteem. 

By the year 1564 A.C. Akbar had fully establish- 
ed his authority; he had taken the 
A. S c! n reins of administration in his own 
hands, had overcome his rivals and had 
firmly seated himself on the throne of Delhi. He had 
shaken off the tutelage of Bairam Khan and the influence 
of the Court Party and had entered upon his personal 
government. As a man of strong imperial instinct, 
he aspired to become the spyereign-ruler of India. 
Before he entered upon a career of conquest, he was 
called upon to suppress a series of rebellions and revolts. 


One of the Uzbeg officers of Akbar had xisen 
to the position of Kban Zaman in 
KhanZamln. appreciation of his valuable services 

~ at the Battle of Panlpat U556 A. C.). 

In 1560 A. C. the Afghans of Bengal, headed by Sher 
Shah II, son of Muhammad Shah 'Adali, made an 
attempt to recover Delhi. They were utterly defeated 
by Khan Zaman, who, however, refused to send to His 
Majesty the elephants, included in the spoils of war. 
The Emperor took the field against him in person and 
advanced towards Jaunpur. When the Kh?n heard of the 
Emperor's advance, he marched out to pay homage 
to His Majesty, taking with him not only the elephants 
but the rest of the booty as well as other propitiatory 
offerings. With his usual generosity, the Emperor 
passed over his act of insubordination and confirmed 
him in the government of Jaunpur shortly afterwards. 

Adham Khan was employed by Akbar against Baz 
Bahadur of Malwa. He won a decisive 
AdhamKha f n. victory near Sarangpur over his enemy, 

but followed the example of Khan 
Zaman by rebelling and retaining the spoils of the con- 
quest. As if this was not enough, he went a step further : 
Elated by his success, he made a lavish distribution of 
the booty in order to increase his popularity, retaining, 
however, for himself the royal ensigns and a major part 
of the treasure, which ought to have been sent to the 
Emperor as a matter of course. Akbar instantly 
marched into Malwa at the head of the Imperial army, 
took Adham Khan by surprise before he could break into 
open rebellion, captured the booty and removed him 


from the government of Malwa After his misconduct 
in the expedition against Malwa, Adham Khan was kept 
at the Imperial Court, where he grew jealous of the 
promotion of Shams-ud-Dln to the position of Vakil, i.e., 
Prime Minister. Smarting under the loss of his 
government of Malwa, he entered, one night, in the 
Diwan-i-KJ}as with some of his retainers and stabbed 
the Vakil to death. The noise that followed the 
mi 1 Her, aroused the Emperor from his sleep, brought 
him out of his private apartment and attracted him to 
the scene of the occurrence. Finding his minister dead, 
the Emperor dealt such a blow to the traitor that he fell 
senseless to the ground. He was twice thrown down 
from the terraced-roof of the royal palace inside the fort 
and killed. This took place in 1562 A. C. 

Adham Khan was superseded by Pir Muhammad 
in the government of Malwa. But 

Abdullah Khan. ^ r was more a man f letters than 
of war. His barbarous treatment of 
the people of the province strengthened the cause of 
Baz Bahadur, who was thus enabled to expel the 
Mughals out of his dominions with the help of the 
Sultan of Kbandesh. Pir Muhammad .was drowned 
while his defeated troops were crossing the river 
Narbada. Akbar dispatched another army under the 
command of one Abdullah Khan who inflicted a severe 
defeat on Baz Bahadur and recaptured Malwa. After 
some futile efforts to recover his kingdom, Baz Bahadur 
took service under the Mughal Emperor. The 
government of the province wa made over to Abdullah 
Khan, who soon followed the example of his predecessor 


by an attempt at rebellion. Akbar marched against 
him and, after some fighting, compelled him to take 
refuge in Gujarat. 

Hotly chased into Gujarat, the rebellious chief 

(Abdullah) ultimately made his way 
Revolts of Uzbeg . , T , , . . , , , 

Chiefs- 1565-1567 in * Jaunpur, where he joined hands 

with the traitor, Khan Zaman, and 
Asaf Khan, and made common cause with them against 
the Mughal Emperor. An insurrection of threatc:;In & 
dimensions broke out in Jaunpur in 1565 A. C. and 
lasted till 1567 A. C. It was somjthing like a general 
rising of the Uzbeg Chiefs, the hereditary enemies of the 
family of Babar, who did not like the Persianised ways 
of Akbar and his sympathetic attitude towards his 
Persian officers, so much so that they now intrigued 
against him in favour of Kamran's son, Abul Qasim. The 
Imperial army sent against Khan Zaman was defeated in 
156j A. C. Thereupon the Emperor himself advanced 
towards the insurgent chiefs, who at once made a show 
of submission, but never submitted. A little afterwards 
they were joined by the disaffected Afghans and the 
discontented Musalmans of the eastern provinces. 
Before Akbar could find time to suppress the rebellion 
of the Uzbegs, he was called upon to protect the 
Punjab, which was simultaneously invaded by Mirza 
Muhammad Hakim of Kabul. At this critical juncture 
he displayed marvellous courage, resourcefulness and 
presence of mind. He lost no time in marching to the 
Punjab, dispersing the allies of his brother and putting 
them to flight. The Mirza returned to Kabul 
discomfited After restoring internal tranquillity in the 


Punjab, the Emperor again turned his attention to the 
insubordinate Uzbegs. Post-haste he marched into the 
east and took them by surprise at Mankuwal (ten miles 
from Allahabad). Khan Zaman was killed in the battle 
which ended disastrously for the Uzbegs. His 
accomplices were severely punished while Abul Qasim 
was executed in the fort of Gwalior. Thus, the back of 
the Uzbeg rising was broken, though it was not finally 
"nnressed till 1573 A. C. 

Another instance of insubordinate and head-strong 
of^cers, who tried to take law in their 

Monstrous act own hands and escape punishment 

of Khwajah . . , . 

Mu'azzam. for their misconduct owing to their 

friendship with or influence over the 
Emperor, was that of Khwajah Mu'azzam, a half-brother 
of the dowager-queen, Hamida Bano Begum. This 
1 half insane monster ' took his wife to his country-seat 
and stabbed her to death. This tragic accident took 
place in 1564 A. C. At the request of the deceased's 
mother, Emperor Akbar hurried to the scene of the 
occurrence, seized the murderer, Mu'azzam, and his 
accomplices, and threw them into the State Prison of 

Akbar did not take long to realize that there was 

something grievously wrong with the 
Akbar and P . i TT 

the Rajputs. policy of his predecessors. He soon 

discovered that if he wanted to 
establish his empire he must broad-base his rule on the 
acquiescent good- will of his subjects, irrespective of their 
caste or creed. * Of all the dynasties that had yet 
ruled m India, that of Tamerlane was the most insecure 


in its foundation. ' This sense of insecurity led him to 
secure the sympathies of the Hindus in general and 
the Rajputs in particular. The latter constituted the 
military class of the Hindu community. They were 
the born war-lords of India and their support was 
indispensable to the cause of the new dynasty. 
Accordingly, Akbarset himself to the task of reconciling 
the Rajputs to the ideas of the Mughal Rule. The 
following were the methods he adopted : 

(1) With the true acumen and insight of a statesman 

he entered into matrimonial alliances 
Matrimonial ... .,_ -- -a. TU c. *. -o-- -. 

alliances. Wlt " t" e Rajputs. The first Rajput 

Rajah to give him his daughter in 
marriage was Bharmal Kachhwaha of Amber. This 
marriage secured the powerful support of a brave 
Rajput family. ' It symbolised, ' says Dr. Beni Prasad, 
' the dawn of a new era in Indian politics, it gave the 
country a line of remarkable sovereigns ; it secured to 
four generations of Mughal emperor the services of some 
of the greatest cap f ains and diplomats that mediaeval 
India produced'. This marriage was solemnised in 
1562 A. C. In 1570 the Emperor married princesses 
from the Rajput States of Jaisalmir and Bikaner. In 
1584 A. C, Prince Salim (Jahanglr) was married to the 
daughter of Rajah Bhagwan Das. 

(2) Towering above the trammels of religion and the 

petty prejudices of the Age, Akbar 
appreciated and rewarded the services 

and other Hindus, of his Hindu subjects, particularly the 
Rajputs. He granted them high 

posts of power and responsibility, both in the civil and 


military departments. He took them into his confi- 
dence and admitted them to every degree of power. 
Rajah Todar Mai, Rajah Bharmal, Rajah Bhagwan 
Das and Rajah Man Singh were some of those who 
enjoyed high commands in the army. Nearly half of 
Akbar's soldiers and many of his generals were Hindus. 

(3) The basic principle of Akbar's policy was toleration. 
To all his subjects he granted the 
freedom of worship and the liberty of 

liberty of conscience. He abolished the Jizia, 

conscience. . , 

levied upon the Ziwwts (non-Mus- 

lims), and all the taxes imposed upon Hindu pilgrims. 
He treated his Hindu subjects as well as his Muslim 
subjects ; rather, ' with a leaning in favour of the 
former '. To please his Hindu subjects, he often 
adopted their customs and practices, mixed freely with 
them, and seemingly shared their beliefs. 

(4) Akbar took a lively interest in the welfare of his 

Hindu subjects. He tried to eradi- 

Reforms. cate the ev ^ s that had honeycombed 

Hindu society. While following the 

policy of toleration and reconciliation, he did not 

hesitate to remove the abuses of Hindu* society. He 

forbade child-marriage, discouraged Sati* and encourag- 

ed widow-remarriage. Besides, he practically preached 

against caste-restrictions and inculcated love of 

humanity. He encouraged fellow-feeling among all his 

* The rite of burning widows alive with the dead bodies of 
their husbands, in vogue among t : he Hindus in ancient and 
madiaeval India. 


subjects and imparted education to all and sundry. 
During his reign the Hindus studied side by side with 
the Muslims without any restrictions of rank, race or 

By such methods as enumerated above, Akbar 
won over the Rajput element to his 

Effects of the side Three benefits accrued from 

above methods. 

the policy of toleration and reconcilia- 
tion adopted by him: (1) The Rajput danger was 
over ; (2) when the Rajputs were reconciled, their 
support was used as a counterpoise against the 
Uzbegs and insubordinate officers ; and (3) their 
loyalty served as a strong safeguard against the opposi- 
tion of the Afghans who had been freshly dethroned. 
For the Emperor it was wise to enlist the active co- 
operation of the Rajputs whoi.e martial qualities were 
universally admired. For the Rajpilts, on the other 
hand, it was equally wise to submit to a sovereign who 
appreciated their merits, rewarded their services, res- 
pected their feelings and tolerated their faith. 

After erecting the famous Ibadat-Khana at Fathpur 
Slkrl for the meetings of the intel- 
e lectuals of his reign, Akbar sent a 

formal letter of invitation to the 
Portuguese authorities at Goa, requesting them to send to 
bis court some of their most learned and well-qualified 
Christian theologians to enlighten him on the philoso- 
phical basis of Christianity. The hopes of the Portu- 
guese ran high at the prospect of winning so desirable a 
convert as the Emperor of India. 


In 1580 A. C., a year after the invitation, they 

_. . ... . complied with the Imperial request 

First Mission. r t . r ^ 

and sent a mission under Father 
Rudolf Acquaviva and Father Monserrat, both of 
whom were renowned for their devotion to the 
Christian faith. Akbar accorded the missionaries a most 
hearty welcome. He treated them with great respect 
and permitted them to build a chapel at Agra. He 
evinced a keen interest in the sacred pictures of Christ 
ana Mary. He even placed his son, Sallm, under 
their tuition in order tc try the effect of Christian 
teachings on the unbiassed mind of the young ; but 
nothing could shake his belief in his own faith. The 
Fathers were grievously disappointed in their expecta- 
tions ; for indeed the Emperor was a hard nut to crack. 
After a stay of three years at the Mughal Court, 
the first mission returned in 1583 A. C., without 
achieving its object, i.e., without converting Akbar to 

The second mission, sent from Goa, arrived at the 

***. . Mughal Court in 1 590 A. C. It too did 

Second Mission. ~T . 

not fare better than its predecessor ; 

for it failed to convert Akbar to Christianity. The 
failure of this mission convinced the Jesuits that Akbar's 
mind was most inscrutable, though he still remained 
most favourably disposed towards them and loved to have 
some of them with him. It remained at the Mughal 
Court for three years (1590-1593 A.C.) and then 
returned, as unsuccessful as the first. 


The third mission arrived at Lahore, where the 
Third Mission. Imperial Court then resided, and it 

was extended a rousing reception. It 
fared better than the first two inasmuch as it was 
allowed to build its chapels in Lahore and Agra and to 
make converts if it could. Besides, it secured many 
valuable trading facilities and became, more or less, a 
permanent institution in the Mughal Empire. 

To the Portuguese Akbar was at first an encourage- 
Akbar's object. ment, then an enigma, and finally a 
bitter disappointment. Why ? be- 
cause his object in inviting the Portuguese missionaries 
to his Court and showing profound veneration for the 
Gospel was political rather than religious. He wished 
to befriend the Portuguese at Goa, who possessed a 
large park of artillery, and to secure their assistance 
against the stronghold of Aslrgarh as well as against his 
own son, Salim, who had rebelled against him. Akbar 
was more a politician and a statesman than a religious 
propagandist or a missionary. Behind all his acts there 
were always some ulterior political motives 




Territorial Annexations 


The experience of the past and the events daily 

T J coming to his notice alike awoke 

Introductory. . 

Akbar to the dangers and difficulties 

that he would have had to face if India had continued 
to be a congeries of small states or a geographical ex- 
pression. He felt the necessity for a paramount power 
at the centre to control the outlying provinces if India 
was to enjoy the blessings of eternal peace. The 
unification of India, therefore, presupposed the conquest 
of all those parts of India over which the Mughals had 
no control. 

After the Battle of Panlpat U556 A.C.) Akbar 

occupied Delhi and Agra. During 
Early conquests. V> / ^ TT-I_ t 

the Protectorate of Bairam Khan he 

conquered Ajmer, Gwalior, Jaunpur, Chunar and 
Mirtha By the year 1 564 A. C. he had firmly seated 
himself on the throne of Delhi. As a man of imperial 
instinct, he now aspired to make himself the ruler of 
the whole of Hindustan. Accordingly, he buckled 
himself to the task of reducing the whole of India to his 
own sway. He embarked upon a career of conquest, 
which was crowned in 1601 A. C. by the capture of 


(1) In 1564 A. C. ht dispatched an army against 

the Rajput State of Gondwana in the 
Oondwaiia. ^ 

Central Provinces under the command 

of Asaf K]]an, the governor of Kara-Manikpur. Durga- 
vati, who acted as regent for her young son, gallantly 
defended her small kingdom and offered a stout resis- 
tance to the Imperial army. Finding, however, that 
further resistance was futile, she stabbed herself to death 
on the battle-field. Gondwana was overrun and sub- 
dued. The royal treasure was plundered and immense 
booty was obtained by the invaders. Bir Narayan, the 
minor Rajah, resumed the fight and perished on the 
field of battle after a desperate defence of the reputation 
of his house which was at stake. 

(2) By the end of the year 1566 A. C. Akbar had 

broken the back of almost all his 
formidable foes. He now found him- 
self free to renew his campaign against Rajputana, which 
had been postponed owing to the Uzbeg Revolt and 
other rebellions. An ambitious king like Akbar, who 
wanted to rule over a united and peaceful India, could 
not brook the existence of such strong forts on the 
borders of frs empire as Chittor and Ranthambhor. 
Rana Sangha, the flower of Rajput chivalry was dead. 
His son, Udai Singh, was now the premier prince of 
Rajasthan. Udai utterly lacked the qualities that had 
characterised his father. He proved to be the most 
unworthy scion of the famous house of Bapa Rawal. 
Colonel James Tod justly remarks : ' Well had it been 
for Mewar had the poniard fulfilled his intention ; and 
had the annals never recorded the name of Udai Singh 


in the catalogue of her princes ' It was, therefore, high 
time for the Mughal Emperor to resume his campaign 
against Rajputana. He did not, perhaps, forget that 
the Rana had given shelter and even pecuniary help to 
Baz Bahadur of Malwa after his defeat at the hands of 
the imperialists. The Ranas of Chittor were very proud 
of their noble ancestry. They had refused to enter into 
matrimonial alliances with the Emperor and had all 
along defied his authority. An attack on Chittor was, 
therefore, a foregone conclusion. In 1566 A. C. Akbar 
took the field in person against Udai Singh at the head 
of an efficient army. At his approach, the Rana retired 
to the inaccessiole mountainous country in order to save 
his person, leaving a garrison of eight thousand brave 
Rajput soldiers in charge of the stronghold under the 
command of Jayamal and Patta. In October, 1567 
A. C. the famous fortress was invested with the help of 
five thousand craftsmen skilled in engineering operations 
by which the walls were to be undermined. The 
Rajputs, who had the decided advantage of position, 
defended themselves with great courage, but they could 
not check the progress of the siege which was conducted 
in the most scientific manner then known. Two sabats, 
or covered approaches, were made and it was 
planned to blow up the stronghold with the aid of 
gunpowder. During the operations the powder exploded 
too soon and killed no less than five hundred of the 
besiegers and many more of the besieged, crowded on the 
bastion. The Emperor ordered the construction of new 
mines and continued the siege with renewed energy. 
By February, 1568 A. C. everything was ready and a 



furious attack was made- on the Rajputs. One night 
the Emperor chanced to se^ Jayamal while the latter 
was directing the repair of one of the breaches made by 
the besiegers and shot him through his head. As usual, 
the fall of the commander decided the fate of the 
garrison. As Akbar advanced to the breaches, he found 
them undefended. The Rajputs had retired to perform 
the rite of Jauhar.* Wishing to spare their lives, 
Akbar summoned them to surrender. Committing their 
wives and children to the flames, they came out "ana 
fought and fell on the field of battle. Some of them 
cut their way through and others saved themselves and 
their families ' by binding their own women and 
children as prisoners, and, seizing a favourable opportu- 
nity, marched quietly through the cordon of besiegers 
as if they were a detachment of Akbar's Rajput allies 
conducting their captives to the rear '. It appears that 
the Rajputs resorted to this ruse to save their families 
from death, availing themselves of the knowledge that 
the Emperor had abolished the practice of enslaving the 
prisoners of war, otherwise they* would not have 
tolerated the humiliation of allowing their wives and 
daughters to fall into the hands of the Mughals. Akbar 
returned to his capital, bringing with him this time as 
trophy a pair of wooden gates instead of a beautiful bride. 

* When defeated and driven to despair, the Rajputs mas- 
sacred their women in order to prevent their falling into the 
hands of their victors and plunged themselves in the field with 
swords in their hands, fought their foes without fear and fell 
fighting on the field and dhd to a man. Sometimes their women 
willingly perished in the flames kindled by their own hands. This 
was known as Jauhar. 


The fall of Chittor was folio we J by the capture of the two 
famous fortresses of Ranthambhor and Kalinjar. A little 
after the conquest of Chittor, Akbar sent an army under 
efficient generals for the reduction of Ranthambhor in 
Rajasthan and himself appeared at the scene of action 
in February, 1569 A. C Taking his position on the top 
of a hill close to the almost impregnable fortress, he 
commenced bombardment and reduced the Rajput 
Rajah, Surjana Hara, to such straits that he was forced 
to sue for peace. He sent his sons, Bhoja and Duda, to 
the Emperor who conferred robes of honour on them 
and sent them back to their father. The Rajah 
was so much impressed by this act of magnanimity 
that he expressed his willingness to serve His Majesty, 
the Emperor Akbar. His wish was complied with. 
At first he was made a Qildddr at Garhkantak, 
and a little later he was appointed governor of 
Benares and Chunar. Before advancing against Ran- 
thambhor, Akbar had detailed an army under the 
command of Majnun Khan Kakshak against Kalinjar. 
Rajah Ram Chandra had already received the news 
of the fall of the two famous fortresses of Rajasthan. 
He submitted in 1569 A. C. and surrendered his 
stronghold to the imperial army without resistance. He 
was granted zjagir near Allahabad, and Kalinjar was 
placed in charge of Majnun Khan, the valiant com- 
mander of the Mughal army. Ram Chandra's example 
was followed by many other Rajput princes, who 
surrendered their states to the Emperor and joined his 
service. But Udai Singh was ^ecure in his mountain 
fortresses, whither he had retired at the approach of 


Akbar at Chittor. There he had built a new city and 
named it Udaipur after his own name. He died in 
1572 A. C. and was succeeded by his son, Rana 
Pratap Singh, who was destined to be a most deter- 
mined enemy of Islam and an avowed champion of 
Hinduism. He is said to have taken a vow to vindicate 
the honour of his house and to expel the Musalmans 
from India. Although his resources, as compared to 
those of the Mughal Emperor, were absolutely insignifi- 
cant and his chances of success were few and rar 
between, yet he * was fighting for his principles and 
those who fight for a principle do not stop to measure 
the chances of success or failure '. This bravest of the 
brave Rajputs plunged himself into a life-long struggle 
to retrieve the sinking fortunes of his famous house and 
continued an unbalanced war till he recovered a 
considerable part of the lost territory of Mewar. No 
excuse for a war against him was needed. Since he 
refused to submit to Akbar, his destruction was, there- 
fore, determined upon. Rajah Man Singh, assisted by 
Asaf Khan II, undertook an expedition against the 
Rana at the head of a large army. He attacked the 
fortress of Gogunda in the Iravallies, but Pratab Singh 
was guarding the pass of Haldlghat leading to Gogunda. 
At the approach of the imperial army, a fierce hand to 
hand fight began and ended in victory for Akbar. The 
Rana received a serious wound and retired to the 
mountains. For some time he was hardpressed by the 
Mughals and was compelled to live in the distant 
hilly fortresses. But in 1578 A. C. he was again in the 
field though only to lose Gondwana and Udaipur. 


Afterwards he was able to recover almost all of Mewar, 
except, Chittor, Ajmer and Mandalgarh, in the absence 
of the Emperor whose presence at Lahore was highly 
necessary till the danger from Turan was over. Rana 
Pratap died in 1597 A. C. after filling the whole of 
India with his undying fame. The danger from the 
North-West Frontier being over, the Emperor sent his 
son, Salim, against Amar Singh, the son and successor 
of Rana Pratap. Realising the impossibility of success 
in a mountain warfare against an indomitable race, the 
Prince retreated to Fathpur and thence to Allahabad, 
leaving Amar Singh secure in his possessions to the end 
of his father's reign. The net result of the protracted 
campaign against Mewar was that the pride of the 
Rana was humbled and the famous fortresses of Chittor 
and Ranthambhor were taken, Kalinjar and Ajmer were 
occupied and Rajputana was constituted into a separate 
province of the Mughal Empire. With most of the 
Rajputs on his side, Akbar could now freely indulge in 
his ambitious projects in other regions, 

(3) It will be Remembered that Gujarat was conquer- 
. ed and occupied by Emperor Humayun 

though only temporarily. Akbar 
therefore wished to reclaim it as a lost province of 
the Mughal Empire. Even in his own reign it had 
become a place of retreat for insurgent officers and 
refractory chiefs. The Mirzas, the Uzbegs and the 
royal cousins had taken refuge there. It was there that 
a serious insurrection had occurred. Above all, the 
wealth and plenty of the place, its flourishing trade and 
thriving maritime commerce had a lure that was 


irresistible. The time was highly favourable for the 
Mughal Emperor to recover what was once a province of 
his father's empire. For anarchy and confusion reigned 
supreme in Gujarat owing to the struggle between 
Muzaffar Shah II and the Mirzas who had established 
themselves there in the reign of Humayun. The nominal 
king, Muzaffar Shah, was a mere puppet in the hands of 
this faction or that. Moreover, Akbar received an invita- 
tion from Itimad Khan, the minister of Muzaffar Shah, 
requesting him to relieve the fair province of the chaos 
it was in. Forthwith, he marched against Muzaffar 
Shah, who concealed himself in a corn field when he 
heard of the arrival of the Emperor In his capital, 
Ahmadabad. After receiving the submission of the 
chiefs of Gujarat and putting its capital under his 
foster-brother, Kban-i-Azam Mirza Aziz Koka, Akbar 
laid siege to Surat which surrendered soon afterwards. 
The Emperor, who had never seen a sea, made an 
excursion to Cambay and enjoyed a short sail on the 
ocean. He also made acquaintance with the Portuguese 
there. After introducing necessary administrative reforms, 
Akbar returned to Fathpur Slkrl. As soon as he turned 
his back, the Mirzas broke into a serious revolt. Post- 
haste he marched again against Gujarat and, covering 
six hundred miles in nine days, he reached Ahmadabad 
'a marvellous feat of physical endurance*. Taking 
the rebels by surprise, he inflicted a crushing defeat 
upon them. The Mirzas, who had headed so many 
rebellions against the Emperor, were finally crushed 
(1573 A. C.). Order was soon restored and fortune 
again began to smile over Gujarat. Rajah Todar Mai 


played a conspicuous part in restoring peace and plenty 
to this province by his indefatigable efforts and industry. 
The conquest of Gujarat marks a new epoch in the 
history of Akbar's reign. After its annexation to the 
Mughal Empire, it began to prosper by leaps and 
bounds. It brought to the Imperial Exchequer 
a vastly increased income, roughly estimated at 
Rs. 50,00,000 annually. The Emperor was for the 
first time brought into personal contact with the Portu- 
guese, whose dealings with him had important political 
effects on the history of the period. Finally, the con- 
quest of Gujarat prepared the way for further conquests. 
It was used as a jumping-off point for the invasion of 
the southern kingdoms. It opened the way into the 
Deccan and also accelerated the conquest of Bengal. 
(4) Sulaiman Kara-am, who had founded an indepen- 
dent kingdom of Bengal in 1564 A.C., 
6nga ' was wise enough to acknowledge 

Akbar as his suzerain. On his death in 1572 A. C., 
he was succeeded by his headstroiig son, Daud. At his 
accession, the new king reversed the policy of his pre- 
decessor. He read the Khutbd and struck coins in his 
own name and openly defied the authority of the Emperor. 
The conquest of Gujarat had extended the Empire of 
Akbar in the west right up to the sea. It was but 
natural that the ambitious Emperor would desire to 
acquire a similar frontier in the east. Only a pretext 
was enough to enable him to achieve his object. He 
found one when Daud attacked and occupied the fort 
of Zamania. Akbar himsejr marched against him 
and drove him from Patna and Hajipur. He was 


defeated at Tukarai in Orissa and was compelled to 
submit to the Emperor and pay him tribute. Bengal 
was annexed to the Mughal Empire and Munim Khan 
was made its governor. Munim died in 1575 A. C. and 
his death enabled Daud to recover his lost territory. 
Akbar could not bear such an audacity. At once he 
ordered his army to march against him under the 
command of a capable general. Again he was defeated 
and taken prisoner at Rajmahal (1576 A. C.) 

In connection with the conquest of Bengal a 

T*. ~ u _i reference must bt made to the rebellion 

The Qaqshal 

Rebellion in which broke out in tha* province after 

Bengal. Q{ its governor> Kh 

Jahan. Its causes were : (1) Muzaffar Khan Turbati, 
who was appointed governor after Khan-i-Jahan, 
was 'harsh in his measures and offensive in his speech*. 
He was disliked by the people, specially the Qaqshals, 
for the new methods of assessment and the new regula- 
tions regarding the confiscation of unauthorised hold- 
ings. His harsh policy and its rigid enforcement earned 
him enmity from all quarters. (2) Owing to the bad 
climate of Bengal, the Emperor had increased the 
allowances of his soldiers serving in that province. 
When Mansur, the Imperial Diwan, reduced these 
allowances by half, the soldiers suffered and agitated. 
To allow discontent to enter the army was a blunder of 
the first magnitude. So rigorous was the inquest that 
even the Sayurghal lands were not exempt from it. This 
offended the Ulama, who preached and propagated against 
the Emperor. (3) Akbar's Sulh-i-Kul policy also pre- 
cipitated the crisis. The bigoted Udlmd declared him 


an apostate from Islam and called upon the people to 
carry a crescentade against the ' impious emperor '. 
The first to revolt were the Chughtai Qaqsfadls who 
refused to pay the ddgh tax and advanced upon the 
capital with arms in their hands under their leader, 
Baba Khan. They were soon joined by other malcon- 
tents who aggravated the trouble. Rajah Todar Mai 
was sent by the Emperor to suppress disorder in Bengal, 
uui the rebels had gained strength and the situation had 
taken a serious turn. Muzaffar was murdered and the 
whole of Bihar and Bengal lay at the feet of the 
Qaqsbdls. Al;bar then sent Aziz Koka to the aid of 
Todar Mai, and the two generals combined to crush the 
Qaqshdls. Their efforts were crowned with success ; 
but soon after the suppression of the Qaqsbdl rebellion, 
there appeared another danger on the horizon. A 
Jdglrddr of Jaunpur, called Masum Farankhudi, rebelled 
against the established government. Shah Baz Khan 
defeated him and compelled him to flee into the 
Siwalik hills to find refuge there. Aziz Koka put in 
a word in his favour and the Emperor was reconciled 
to him. But he did not live long to enjoy the 
Imperial favours ; his career was cut short by his 
private enemy a little later. Though fighting continued 
in Bengal for some time, the fury of the recalcitrant 
movement had considerably abated and the danger was 
practically over. 

(5) Many of the orthodox Musalmans, particularly of 
the eastern provinces, intrigued against 
the Emperor and wished to depose 
him iu favour of his younger brother, Mirza Muhammad 



Hakim. Encouraged by this and emboldened by, the 
rebellions and revolts that followed one another in 
rapid succession, the Mirza sent an army under one of 
his officers to attack the Punjab. When this expedition 
failed, he launched another under his general, Shadman, 
who was defeated and slain by Rajah Man Singh. In 
1581 A. C. Hakim himself invaded the Punjab at the 
head of fifteen thousand horse. In vain he tried to 
induce the inhabitants of India to join him. Akbar not 
only repelled him, but pursued him to Kabul and com- 
pelled him to surrender his territory anJ to submit to 
the sovereign-ruler of Hindustan. With his charac- 
teristic clemency, he allowed his brother to retain Kabul 
till his death. Mirza Hakim died in 1585 A. C. and 
Kabul was converted into a province of the Mughal 
Empire. It was placed in charge of Rajah Man Singh, 
who was soon called back because he could not keep 
the unruly Afghans under control. He was relieved by 
Rajah BIr Bal, who was, however, killed in a campaign 
against the Yusafzals. The results of the conquest of 
Kabul may be enumerated here : In the first place, 
it dealt a death-blow to the orthodox rebels who wanted 
to make Mirza Muhammad Hakim the ruler of India, 
inasmuch as he was regarded as a strict Sunm. Second- 
ly, it cowed down the conspirators and the personal 
awe, inspired by Akbar's character, courage and capa- 
city, held the waverers to duty. Thirdly, it gave him 
a free hand for the rest of his life ; he could now 
indulge in his religious innovations with absolute 
impunity. Fourthly, it removed the barrier which 


had hitherto prevented the inhux of hardy soldiers from 
Afghanistan and immensely increased the military 
resources of the Emperor. Finally, it removed the 
possibility of invasion from beyond the North-West 
Frontier and kept India in immunity from external 

The problem of the North- West Frontier has always 
engaged the attention and influenced 

Chat's North- t h e internal as well as the external 
West Frontier 

Policy. policy of almost all Indian govern- 

ments. During the early Muslim period 
the Emperor-Sultans adopted effective measures against 
the Mongol invasions. They safeguarded their kingdom 
by constructing a series of military outposts at vulnerable 
points in the North- West Frontier and by stationing 
experienced officers and strong garrisons there. Balban, 
Gbazi Malik and Ala-ud-Din Khilji made redoubtable 
efforts to fortify the frontier outposts. With Akbar as 
the emperor of India, it was but natural to establish a 
firm hold on the North-West Frontier. After the 
conquest of Kabul, he tried to reduce the tribal terri- 
tory. He shifted his court to Lahore, where it remain- 
ed from 1585 A. C. to 1598 A. C. During this period 
he was busy in reducing the Uzbegs and the Afghans. 
The Uzbegs, under their leader, Abdullah, had ousted 
Mirza Sulaiman out of Badakhshan and had now fixed 
their eyes on Kabul. Abdullah, an ambitious and 
experienced general as he was, was likely to receive 
support from the orthodox Afghans against the 'heretical 
Emperor '. Akbar's fears were not ill-founded and he 
was ful'y alive to the gravity of the situation. 


But, before dealing \.ith his formidable enemy, he 

turned his attention to the suppres- 
Roshanite . , , , 

Movement. sion of disaffection caused by the 

Roshnai Movement. The Roshanites* 
were defeated and their leader, Jalal, who had intended 
an invasion of India, was killed at Gbaznln and his 
accomplices were captured and sent to the Imperial 
Court. This occurred in 1600 A. C. After effectively 
suppressing the Roshanites, Akbar undertook to put an 
end to the agitation of the Yusafzai Pathans, who migni, 
make common cause against him with Abdullah Uzbeg. 
Zain Khan was sent against them. He defeated them 
in twenty-three fights and established fortified posts to 
hold them in check. But the Imperial troops were soon 
exhausted owing to the ceaseless activity of the wily 
foe, so much so that Zain Khan was compelled to apply 
for reinforcements. The Emperor realized the serious- 
ness of the situation and soon sent an army under the 
command of Rajah Bir Bal and Hakim Abdul Path, 
none of whom had any experience in the use of arms. 
As soon as they joined Zain Khan, the three generals 
began to quarrel among themselves and thus gave their 
enemy the advantage of divided counsels. The result 
of the campaign was that as many as 8,000 Imperial 
soldiers were slain with stones and arrows. Bir Bal 
was also killed and Zain Khan had a narrow escape. 
In order to retrieve the disasters of this campaign, the 
Emperor sent Rajah Todar Mai and his own son, 

* The Roshanites wre the followers of one Bayazid, who 
claimed to be a prophet himself and attached little importance 
to the teachings of the Holy Qur'an. 


Prince Murad, at the head of a large army. This time 
a better luck was in store for the imperialists. They 
completely crushed the rebels, and according to Abul 
Fazl, ' A large number (of the enemy) were killed, and 
many were sold into Turan and Persia. The country 
of Sawad (Swat), Bajaur and Bunir, which has few 
equals for climate, fruits and cheapness of food, was 
cleansed of the evil doers/ The result of this campaign 
was that the Yusafzals were subdued and Abdullah was 
convinced of the imperial resources, so that he gave up 
the idea of Indian conquest. 

(6) The conquest of Kashmir was accomplished in 

1586 A. C. without any serious 
Kashmir. / 

opposition or difficulty. The Muslim 

rulers of Kashmir were reported to have committed 
cruelties on their subjects who were mostly Hindus. 
This afforded a favourable opportunity to interfere with 
the independence of that kingdom. The excellent 
climate of the valley and its natural scenery must have 
equally attracted the attention of tHe Emperor. During 
his stay at Lahore, Akbar availed himself of the 
anarchical state of Kashmir and made an attempt to 
annex it to his empire. He sent Mirza SLah Rukh and 
Rajah Bhagwan Das against Yusaf Shah, its ruler. A 
peace was patched up between the imperialists and the 
Sultan when the latter agreed to send his two sons to 
the Emperor as hostages. Akbar disapproved of this 
and dispatched another army under the command of 
Qasim Khan to wrest Kashmir from its ruler who 
had evaded the humiliation of paying personal homage 
to His Majesty. The imperialists pressed Yusa* so hard 


that he offered his submission. But his son, Yiaqub, 
who had managed to escape, continued to struggfe till 
he too was defeated and forced to submit. Both Yusaf 
and his son, Yaqub, were enlisted as tnansabddrs and 
Kashmir was constituted into a part of the province of 
Kabul. In 1589 A. C. Akbar paid a visit to Kashmir 
and entrusted its administration to efficient officers of 
ability and experience. Henceforth Kashmir became 
the summer-seat of the Mughal Emperors. 

(7) Multan had been under the Mughal EmperoiS 

since 1574 A. C. Its governor, Khan- 
Smd and . T ,,, . , . _ 

Balochistan. i-ivnanan Abdur Kahim, was entrusted 

with the task of conquering Sind and 
Balochistan which were still outside the ambit of the 
Indian Empire. Mirza Jam Beg, the Tarkhan ruler 
of Sind, was defeated in two engagements and 
compelled to surrender both the stronghold of Sehwan 
and the small state of Thatta. This took place in 1592 
A. C. Through the good offices of the governor of 
Multan, Mirza Jam Beg was allowed to retain the 
principality of Thatta and was made a commander of 
5,000. He gave a good proof of his loyalty and 
distinguished himself in the Deccan campaign. The 
year 1595 A. C. saw the annexation of Balochistan. 
In February the Mughals attacked and occupied the 
fort of Sibi under Mir Masum. As a result, the 
whole of Balochistan succumbed to the Mughal arms. 

(8) The conquest of Sind and Balochistan supplied 

^ .. x Akbar with an excellent point d* 

QandhSr. . ^ 

appui for the conquest of Qandhar, 
the scene of his ancestors' activities and exploits. In fact 


it was a necessary prelude tu that premeditated idea. 
Mirza Muzaffar Husain, the King of Qandhar, was 
harassed by the Turks and theUzbegs. A kbar benefited 
from this weakness of the Shah. He sent an expedition 
to Qandhar at the invitation of the Shah, who was 
entangled in a conflict with the Uzbegs. In May, 1595 
A. C. the imperialists took charge of the province 
without bloodshed. It was indeed a master-stroke of 
diplomacy. Without straining his relations with the 
dian, Akbar annexed Qandhar to his empire. The 
conquest of Qandhar completed the conquest of Northern 
India. It secured Akbar's position in the countries of 
the North-West. It brought home to Abdullah Uzbeg 
the military strength of Emperor Akbar and henceforth 
he tried to maintain friendly relations with him. The 
Uzbeg invasion of India was now a thing of the past. 

The acquisition of Kabul, Kashmir, Sind, Balochis- 
tan and Qandhar completed the 
conquest of Northern India and 
rounded off the Mughal Empire which 
was steadily extended and consolidated. The turn of 
the South came next. It was Akbar's long-cherished 
desire to bring the Shia Sultanates of the Deccan under 
his own sway. Now that he was successful in establish- 
ing his authority in the North, he found himself at 
leisure to turn his attention towards the Deccan. The 
distracted state of the Sultanates induced him to fish in 
the troubled waters. With the destruction of the 
Hindu Empire of Vijayanagar, the motives of co-opera- 
tion amongst the Sultanates had died, giving place to 
disunion and disorder : Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golconda, 


Berar and Bidar had renewed their hostilities against 
one another. Akbar could not tolerate this. First he 
tried diplomatic methods and sent embassies to the 
Shia Sultans, inducing them to acknowledge his 
suzerainty and to pay him regular tributes. As only 
the king of Khandesh agreed to the imperial proposals 
and the remaining four gave a flat refusal, war was 
declared against them. 

(9) Owing to its geographical position, the state of 

Ahmadnagar was first to be attacked. 
Ahmadnagar. . . 

Moreover, its throne was at that time 

a bone of contention between two rival claimants, one of 

whom had sought theassistance of the Mughal Emperor. 

Akbar sent a large force under the joint command of 

his son, Prince Murad, and Khan-i-Khanan Abclur Rahim, 

who laid siege to the city early in the year 1595 A. C. 

But, owing to the heroic defence and stout resistance 

offered by Chand Sultana, the imperialists failed 

to make any serious breach in the ramparts except one 

when the lady herself appeared on the scene with a 

sword in her hand and a veil on her face, and had the 

breach repaired. In the end the Mughal generals, who 

did not co-operate with each other in perfect harmony, 

were obliged to abandon the siege. A treaty was made 

with the Sultana who agreed to cede Berar to the 

Mughal Emperor. In return for this, Bahadur Shah, 

the minor prince, for whom Chand Sultana acted as 

regent, was acknowledged as the king of Ahmadnagar. 

Owing to the internal dissensions which resulted in the 

assassination of Chard Sultana and the attempts of the 

intriguers to violate the terms of the treaty by recovering 


Berar from the Mughals, war was again declared 
against Ahmadnagar. In February, 1597 A. C, an 
indecisive battle was fought, in which both the parties 
claimed victory. Desultory warfare followed and 
continued till Akbar sent his intimate friend and 
counsellor, Abul Fazl, to restore discipline in the 
imperial army despatched against Ahmadnagar. Abul 
Fazl reached the Mughal camp after Murad had died 
of drinking. In 1600 A. C. the Emperor himself 
advanced against Ahmadnagar and took the field in 
person. Burhanpur was easily occupied Prince Daniyal 
and Khan-i-'vhanan Abdur Rahim attacked Ahmad- 
nagar. Chand Sultana, the life and soul of heroic 
defence and a singular instance of self-sacrifice, was no 
longer alhe. The fortress of Ahmadnagar was stormed 
and about 1,500 of the garrison were slain during the 
siege. Ahmadnagar was then annexed to the Mughal 

(10) The campaign against the Deccan was brought 

to a termination -in 1601 A. C., when 

Khanclesh. ' 

the famous fortress of Asirgarh (in 
Khandesh) was stormed and the entire kingdom of 
Khandesh annexed to the Mughal Empire. Before the 
siege of Ahmadnagar, Khandesh was submissive and 
its ruler, Raja 'All, was a friend of the Mughal Emperor. 
But the new Sultan, Miran Bahadur (also known 
as Bahadur Shah) was a headstrong youth, who threw 
off the imperial yoke and refused to recognise Akbar as 
his overlord, relying for his safety on the strength of 
Asirgarh, which was undoubtedly one of the most 
impregnable fortresses in the South. Akbar himself 



undertook an expedition against Bahadur Shah and* laid 
siege to Aslrgarh early in the year 1561 A. C. .The 
siege lasted for full seven months and the beleaguered 
held out most heroically till they were bribed by the 
Emperor to surrender.* Asirgarh fell and with its fall 
fell the whole kingdom of Khandesh. The southern 
conquests were organised into three siibdhs, or provinces, 
viz., Ahtnadnagar, Khandesh and Berar ; and their 
government was made over to Prince Daniyal. 

At his accession in 1556 A. C., Akbar inherited an 
India divided and ruled by different 

Mh ,. f the lers, Hindus as well as Muslims. 

Mughal Lmpire 

under Akbar. On his death, he beqreathed a solid 

and compact empire to his successor. 

By the year 1605 A. C. he was the sole monarch of the 

* There are three different accounts of the siege of Aslrgarh 
as given by 'Allama AbulFazl, Faizi Sarhmdl and the Jesuits. 
My account of the siege is based on a careful study of these three 
sources. Dr. Smith calls in question the evidence of the first 
two and accepts the accounts of the Jesuits as entirely correct. 
1 find no reason why the accounts of the foreigners be preferred 
to those of the natives, especially when there are other sources 
of evidence, too reliable to be refuted. FenshtS, than whom 
there can be no more trustworthy historian of the Deccan, 
supports the accounts of Abul Fazl and Faizi in important 
details When the Dr. charges Akbar of perfidy and says that 
he had recourse to treachery in order to capture the strong- 
hold, he is not at all justified; his condemnation is wholly 
unfounded. It is true that Akbar bribed the garrison against 
Bahadur Shah and there is ample justification for this In the 
first place, ' the prestige of the empire demanded that Aslrgarh 
should be captured by any means.' Secondly, Prince Salim had 
revolted in Northern India and the Emperor's presence was 
urgently needed there. ' Considerations such as these urged the 
emperor to employ bribery to g;un his ends, and in apportioning 


whole of Northern India and his sway extended as far 
in the Deccan as the Godavari. In the North the 
Himalayan range formed the boundary of his empire. 
Within these limits the Mughal Empire extended from 
sea to sea. It had as many as 18 important provinces : 

(I) Delhi, (2) Agra, (3) Oudh, (4) Allahabad, (5) Ajmer, 
(6) Gujarat, (7) Bengal, (8) Bihar, (9) Orissa, (10) Malwa, 

(II) Sind, (12) Multan, (13) Lahore, (14) Kabul, 
(15) Kashmir, (16) Kbandesh, (17) Ahmadnagar, and 
(18) Berar. Akbar died soon after the capture of Aslrgarh. 
Had he lived a little longer, he would have conquered the 
remaining parts of InJia and annexed them to his empire. 

The closing years of Akbar's reign were embittered 

r by a series of sorrows and disappoint- 

Last days J vv 

of Akbar. ments. His sons were a great source 

of anxiety to him. Murad and 
Daniyal had already gone down into the drunkard's 
graves in 1599 A. C. and 1604 A. C., respectively, and 
Salim (Jahanglr), the surviving son of prayers and 
pilgrimages, was no less inveterate and intemperate in 
the use of intoxicating liquors. He survived probably 
because of his stronger constitution. He became the 
chief cause of annoyance to his father in his old age. In 
1600 A. C., while the Emperor was conducting his 
campaign in the Deccan, his son, Salim, revolted and set 
up an independent kingdom at Allahabad. In 1602 
A. C. he gave another terrible shock to the old Emperor 
by engaging a robber-chief, Bir Singh Bundela, for the 

blame, we ought to bear in mind the difficulties and anxieties 
of a statesman, whose reputation w.;s staked on the success or 
failure of a single siege.' Smith should be studied with caution. 


assassination of Abul Fazl. However, before his cteath, 
Akbar was reconciled to his over-ambitious and rsbel- 
lious son through the good olfices of some of his trusted 
servants. He nominated him as his successor in a 
formal manner with due ceremonies. But the Prince 
was far from being popular with the people. A party of 
the Rajputs at the Imperial Court, headed by Rajah 
Man Singh, attempted to secure the succession for 
Prince Khusrau (Sallm's son). Though the intrigue 
failed in the end, it had none the less disturbed the peace 
of the aged Emperor on the eve of his departure from 
this world. In 1605 A. C., Akbar 'became ill with 
severe diarrhoea or dysentery which the physicians failed 
to cure * and he died of it. He was buried at 
Sikandara in the tomb which he had begun to build 
during his lifetime and which was subsequently com- 
pleted by his son, Jahanglr. In the reign of Emperor 
'Alamglr the Jats plundered the tomb, dug out the 
bones of the deceased and burnt them to ashes. 




Ab ovo usque ad mala Akbar's life was an enigma ; 
more enigmatic was his religious life, 
ntroc uctory. which has ever since remained wrap- 

ped in mystery. In trying to reveal it, historians have 
hit either above or below the mark : Whereas some 
have extolled h ; m as a prophet, others have branded him 
as an apostate. The present is an attempt to clear the 
controversy to a close. In order to understand the sub- 
ject and to appreciate the spirit that lay behind it, it is 
necessary to revert to the history of the Saracens on the 
one hand, and to the history of Hindustan on the other. 
The Prophet of Islam, to begin with, united in his 
person the headship of the Muslim 

Reference to the Church and of the Commonwealth of 
history of the TT . . 

Saracens. Islam. He was the lord spiritual as 

well as temporal of his subjects. So 
also were the four Caliphs who succeeded him ope 
after the other. Under them the Crescent was carried 
far and wide. The motive force underlying their 
expansion was their religion. The Commonwealth was 
ruled in accordance with the commandments of the 
Qur'an, the precepts of the Prophet and the discretion 
of the ruler. The State, in brief, served the interests of 
the Church. But with the rise of the Ommeyades 


events took a different turn. Under them the Chvarch 
was harnessed to the State ; its interests were subordi- 
nated to those of worldly well-being. And, gradually as 
the globe was girdled by the followers of Muhammad, 
there sprang up a world-wide empire of Islam, which 
attained its widest dimensions under Walid I. After 
him, when the Caliphate sank into insignificance, the 
governors of the far-flung provinces renounced their 
allegiance to the supreme authority at the Centre, 
except in matters religious. Thus was the State separat- 
ed from the Church for the first time. This separation 
was the inevitable outcome of the unwieluy growth of 
the Commonwealth and the collapse of the Caliphate. 
With the appearance of the Abbassides on the stage, 
there opens a new chapter in the annals of Islamic 
history. Under them the Church was once more 
united with the State in the person of the ruler, who 
became the spiritual as well as the temporal head of the 
Faithful. Baghdad became the Capital (Dar-us-Saldm) 
of the Abbassides and there the rules regulating the 
Caliphate were systematised by the jurisconsults, and the 
conception of the Caliph-Imam (Pope-Emperor) took 
its birth and developed into a doctrine. 

While the rest of the Muslim World was passing 
through such metamorphoses, Muslim 

Reference to the India was following an independent 
history of Muslim . 

Rule in India. policy of its own, not different in aim 

and character from that followed 
by the Muslim World in general, but almost parallel 
to it. Here, as elsewhere, the king based his powers 
not on Islamic law but on Persian tradition. Kingship 


had been a secular institution ever since the advent of 
Islam in India. The Skariyat was seldom allowed to 
interfere with the Stat2. When Akbar came to the 
throne, he did not take long to realise that it was 
impossible for him to rule successfully a country, signi- 
ficantly called 'an ethnological museum', on account of 
the diversity of its races and religions, customs and 
traditions, cultures and conceptions of morality. To 
cap this, the priestly class the powerful, the selfish 
and the self-centred Mullahs - would not allow him to 
rule as a liberal king. Necessity has been the mother 
of inventions, and A 1r >bar's ingenuity did not fail him in 
the hour of need. Ere long he hit upon the idea of 
uniting in his own person the double duty of a King 
and a Mnjtahid ; and in doing this he did not go much 
beyond the Muslim Kings outside India. The condi- 
tions of the country, moreover, justified the r61e he 
played. The Divine Faith was only a phase of the 
same movement. It crowned its author with success. 
It aimed at Hindu-Muslim Unity ever a gordian knot. 
Through it Akbar endeavoured to bring about a general 
concordance among all the existing creeds in India and 
succeeded to a considerable extent. Here it may be 
pointed out that in all his undertakings and experiments 
he was guided by bis confidential friend and advisor, 
Abul Fazl, who has left an ineffaceable impress on the 
history of the Akbarian era. 

From the date of his accession (1556 A. C.) to the 
Akbar's year 1578 A. C. Akbar lived the life 

orthodoxy. of a staunch SunnI, strictly observing 

the dogmas of his faith and swerving not an inch from 


the path of the Shariyat (Muslim Law). He offered 
his prayers regularly in the mosque along with the 
congregation and often acted as Mu'azzin. He paid 
due respect to the time-honoured Ultima and did 
homage to the pious and the holy. So supreme was 
the sway of the sages on his simple mind that he used 
to keep their company for hours together and never 
hesitated to do them the meanest service ; rather, he felt 
pride in carrying out their smallest wishes. Every year 
he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Shaikh Sallm 
Chishti at Ajmer, and, circumambulating the sacred 
sepulchre several times, he sat there for a considerable 
time. He believed in miracles and had named his son, 
Sallm (Jahangir), after the name of the celebrated Saint 
of Ajmer, who had promised him three sons. 'Yd Hddi 
and Yd Mu'in' (O Guide ! and O Helper !) were always 
at the tip of his tongue. They exercised a mesmeric 
influence on his mind and fired his followers with 
immense enthusiasm. As soon as he uttered them, the 
whole of his army, Hindus as well as Musalmans, res- 
ponded sonorously to his calls and fell fearlessly on the 
foe. He believed in Pirs and Faqlrs and visited their 
shrines often bare-footed. His inquisitive nature inspir- 
ed him with the ambition of studying the Qur'dn and 
the Hadith ; his marvellous memory enabled him to 
imbibe and assimilate all that was imparted to him by 
his teachers. He did not stop short at this ; he appoint- 
ed Qdzis and Muftis in every part of his kingdom in 
order to administer justice in accordance with the Code 
of Islam and went so far as to persecute 'the heretic ' in 
obedience to the dictates of the Uldtna. Besides, Bairam 


Khan, the victor of Panlpat and a servant of proved 
merit and tried fidelity, Abdullah MaWidum-ul-Mulk 
and Shaikh Abdun-NabI were his religious guides. The 
young king was so fond of the Shaikh that after the fall 
of Bairam Khan he appointed him Sadr-us-Sudur and 
himself used to call on him daily to learn lessons of 
the Hadith at his feet. By deeds such as these, he 
completely won over the SunnI orthodoxy to his side. 

So far so well. Now a change sets in to the shock 
of the SunnI sect. The Emperor, 
hSfsm t0 hitherto an orthodox SunnI, becomes 

a liberal Musalman. Once, on the 
anniversary of his birthday, so runs the story, Akbar 
coloured his clothes, presumably under Hindu influence, 
with saffron and appeared before his preceptor, the 
Shaikh, who was so highly exasperated at this 
unexpected sight that he instantly raised his cane in 
such a way that it almost touched His Majesty. The 
youthful king could not brook this insult and the 
fate of the Shaikh would have been sealed had not the 
queen-mother appeased her son's anger by telling him 
that the incident would be the cause of his salvation. 
Singularly enough, the prognostication proved only too 
true, as will be evident from the ensuing account. 
The Ulamd were not only narrow-minded, but their 
influence in the State was wholly schismatic. The 
implicit obedience, which they exacted from the Boy- 
Badshah, intoxicated them, and the unbounded 
reverence they received from the orthodox sect 
blinded them to the interests of the State. They 
could not tolerate the honest difference of opinion in 


matters religious. Pow^r, pride and prejudice alike 
governed their passions. Under the charge of heresy 
a number of Musalmans suffered death at their hands, 
many died in dungeons, and a good many more escaped 
with their lives and lived as exiles. Apropos of this may 
be cited an instance: Both Makhdum-ul-Mulk and 
his colleague, Abdun-Nabi, demanded the summary 
execution of Shaikh Mubarak, the most erudite man 
of the day, on the ground that he subscribed to the 
Mahdi Movement. They even succeeded in securing a*. 
Imperial firman, ordering his immediate arrest and 
imprisonment. But for the timely information, 
which Mubarak received from a friendly quarter, 
his enemies would have spared him no insult bound 
in chains they would have dragged him to the court 
of the most formidable of his foes. However, having 
lived the life of an exile for some time, he returned 
to Agra only when Mirza Aziz Koka had put in a 
word in his favour. Though allowed to return, he 
was never in immunity from the hostility of the 
Ulama, who frequently hurled charges of heresy 
and blasphemy against him and never allowed him 
to rest in peace. So much did the Ulama dislike 
a liberal Muslim ; their hatred against the Zimrnis, 
(non-Muslims), particularly against the Hindus, knew 
no bounds. They could not tolerate any concession 
accorded to them by the Emperor. Akbar was fully 
alive to this state of affairs and would not allow it to 
persist. Once for all he decided to curb the power of 
the priestly class. With one stroke he broke loose 
from MaWidum-ul-Mulk and Abdun-Nabi and felt 


sorry for the acts of injustice committed under their 
commands (fatwds). 

Early in the year 1575 A. C., when the Emperor 
returned from his military undertak- 
in g s after winning decisive victories 
over his enemies, he was full of love 
for God and adoration for Islam. He now devoted his 
time and attention to the interests of his subjects. 
Accordingly, he ordered the erection of a debating 
hall (Ibddat Khdnah) at Fathpur Sikri and invited the 
Doctors of Islam to discuss the controversial points and 
to arrive at a definite conclusion in order to 
facilitate the unification of Islam. None but the 
Sayyads, the Shaikhs, the Doctors and the Ulamd of 
high rank was admitted to the Ibddat Kljandh. Since 
all these classes were mangled promiscuously, disputes 
did not take long to arise as to the seats and the order 
of precedence. His Majesty did not like this and was 
soon constrained to assign a separate quarter to each 
of the classes, himself gracing the four apartments, into 
which the House ,vas divided, on every Thursday 
night. But the Ulamd, the most clamorous class, who 
had hitherto dominated the State and had so jealously 
guarded their supremacy, had, in fact, become too 
self-centred to have a stomach for defeat in arguments. 
Calumnies, contumelies and vilifications replaced 
common-sense, reasons and arguments. Charges of 
apostasy, heresy and blasphemy were hurled by one 
against the other. Fatwds were ceaselessly issued 
against the accused. Thus, instead of fusing the 
different sects of Islam into a common brotherhood, 


these dogged discussions rekindled their animosities 
and divided them asunder. It may be said that the 
foundations of the Debating Hall were laid with a view 
to reform the Ulamd, but as they proved incorrigible, 
it was thought expedient to render them politically 
impotent. In 1578 A. C. the discussions took a more 
serious turn with a tendency to defeat the purpose of 
the Emperor. Even in the presence of His Majesty 
the Ulamd lost their temper and called one another 
Kafirs. Unity had already disappeared, now even the 
ordinary rules of etiquette were cast to the winds. One 
Thursday night, when a polemical discussion was 
raging hot, in the bebel of several conflicting voices, 
the question was raised as to what was the final seat 
of authority in matters religious when, at a certain 
point, the Doctors were at variance. Shaikh Mubarak 
set the ball rolling by acknowledging the Emperor as 
such. In conjunction with his sons, Abul Fazl and 
Faizi, he drew up a document, in which Akbar was 
recognised as Imdm-i-'Adil and therefore higher in rank 
than a Mujtahid. The document reuds as follows: 
" Whereas Hindustan has now become the centre 

_. T ^ of security and peace, and the land 

The Document. . . J , , _ . 

of justice and beneficence, a large 

number of people, especially learned men and lawyers, 
have immigrated and chosen this country for their 
home. Now we, the principal Ulamd, who are not only 
well-versed in the several departments of the Law and in 
the principles of Jurisprudence, and well-acquainted with 
the edicts which rest on reason or testimony, but are 
also known for our piety and honest intentions, have 


duly considered the deep meaning, first, of the verse 
of the Qoran (Sur. IV, 62) ' Obey God, and obey the 
Prophet, and those who have authority among you ', 
and secondly, of the genuine tradition, 'Surely, the man 
who is dearest to God on the day of judgment, is the 
Imdm-i-'Adil : whosoever obeys the Amir, obeys Thee, 
and whosoever rebels against him, rebels against Thee ', 
and thirdly, of several other proofs based on reasoning 
or testimony ; and we have agreed that the rank of 
Sultdn-i-'Adil (a just ruler) is higher in the eyes of God 
than the rank of a Mujlahid. Further we declare that 
the King of Islam, Amlroi the Faithful, Shadow of God 
in the world, Abul Fath Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar 
Padshah-i-GbazI, whose kingdom God perpetuate, is a 
most just, a most wise, and a most God-fearing king. 
Should, therefore, in future a religious question come 
up, regarding which the opinions of the Mujtahids are 
at variance, and His Majesty, in his penetrating under- 
standing and clear wisdom be inclined to adopt, for the 
benefit of the nation and as a political expedient any of 
the conflicting opinions which exist on that point, and 
should issue a decree to that effect, we do hereby agree 
that such a decree shall be binding on us and on the 
whole nation. 

"Further, we declare that should His Majesty 
think fit to issue a new order, we and the nation 
shall likewise be bound by it, provided always that such 
order be not only in accordance with some verse of 
the Qoran, but also of real benefit to the nation ; and 
further, that any opposition on the part of his subjects 
to such an order passed by His Majetsy shall 


involve damnation in the world to come and loss of 
property and religious privileges in this. 

11 This document has been written with honest 
intentions, for the glory of God, and the propagation of 
Islam, and is signed by us, the principal Ulamd and 
lawyers, in the month of Rajab of the year 987 of the 

This document, we had better call it the Act 

of Supremacy of Akbar's reign, 
Importance of the 
Infallible Decree. stands unique in the history ot Islam. 

Historians are astonished at its 
worldly character. Here it is reproduced in full for 
some special reasons : In the first place, it reveals most 
unmistakably the statesmanship of Akbar, \vho caught 
the ferocious lions in their own dens. Prepared by the 
Emperor, it was written and signed by the principal 
Ulamd. It bore the signatures and seals of men like 
Makhdum-ul-Mulk and Abdun-Nabi, and was presented 
to His Majesty for rpproval. Like King John's Magna 
Charta it was a petition to the king from the most 
influential Ulama, but unlike it, it increased rather than 
diminished the royal prerogative. In the second 
place, it declared the authority of the Imam-i-'Adil 
to be higher than that of a Mujtahid and based it 
on the threefold sources : the Qur'an, the Hadlth and 
the Reason. In addition to his being a temporal head, 
he was recognised as the most supreme spiritual guide 
of his subjects. It was thus that the Ulama were 
reduced to the state of a cipher in state-politics. In the 

* Ta.'ihh-i-Badaom, vol. ii, p. 279. 


third place, it authorised the Emperor to pass orders of 
all kinds as political expedients, provided always that 
they were beneficial to the whole nation and were 
supported by a verse from the Qur'an. 

The signature of this document was fraught with 
far-reaching consequences. It freed 

the Em P eror from the bigoted Ulama 
and enabled him to give currency to 
his catholic ideas. One Friday, 1580 A. C M he ascended 
the pulpit of a masjid and played the part of a Mullah. 
In keeping wi;h Arab and Persian traditions, he himself 
delivered the Khutba, which is contained in the 
following verse : 

"The Lord to me the Kingdom gave, 
He made me prudent, wise and brave, 
He guided me with right and ruth 
Filling my heart with love of truth ; 
No tongue of man can sum His state 
Allaho Akbar. God is great."* 
This sent a thrill of horror through the whole 
body of Islam in India. For the bigoted it was a bolt 
from the blue. It stirred up a storm of opposition 
which soon assumed a threatening character. In 1589 
A.C. afatwd was issued against the ' impious emperor* 
by Mullah Muhammad Yazdi and a conspiracy was 
hatched up with a view to depose him in favour of his 
brother, Mirza Muhammad Hakim, who posed to be an 
orthodox Muslim. At the same time a rebellion broke 
out in Bengal and Bihar. Considering this to be an 

* This is Mr. Green's translation of Faizi's verse in Persian. 


opportune moment, the Mirza in /aded the Punjab at 
this critical juncture. Akoar had anticipated such a 
storm and was fully prepared to nip it in the bud. 
The invasion was repelled, the eastern disturbances 
were quelled, and normal conditions were restored. 
Now that he had established his supremacy, he could 
take larger liberties with his subjects without courting 
opposition ; he could now defy all hostile criticism with 
absolute impunity. All this was rendered possible by 
the success of the Kabul Expedition. Had that failed, 
the history of India would have taken a different course. 
In this way, threading his way through a series of 

commotions, the Emperor proceeded 
Preliminaries to .,, , , i r r i , ! 

the promulgation a P ace Wlth the task of fusing hostile 

of the Divine elements into a homogeneous whole. 


Favourably impressed by the unmixed 

devotion of his Hindu subjects, while sitting in his 
pensive moods on the solitary stone at Fathpur Sikri, 
he had resolved to utilize their services by allowing 
them co-equal status with the ruling race. But this 
alone could not bring about Hindu-Muslim Unity. 
Something more than this was required to unite the 
two different peoples, possessing not only different but 
also mutually antagonistic religions, cultures and con- 
ceptions of morality. Before long, Akbar felt the 
necessity for finding or founding something com- 
mon to both the communities a common platform, 
where they could meet and greet each other in perfect 
harmony. But what was that common platform to be 
a Masjid or a Mandir ? Neither, but a new religion, 
which could command sincere devotion. Carefully 


considering the pros znd cons of the experiment, Akbar 
decided definitely to establish a religion, embodying in it 
the principal features of all the religions of India. He 
knew that Hinduism was nothing more than a set of 
ceremonies, to which the Hindus clung so tenaciously; 
that other religions had little political importance; and that 
Islam alone, being superior to all others, could best serve 
his purpose. Having gradually gained the sympathies of 
the Rajputs and other important sects by seemingly 
sharing their beliefs and adopting their practices, by 
appreciating their merits and rewarding their services, 
he proceeded to prepare the way for the introduction 
of that common religion. It will be remembered that 
formerly the Musalmans alone could have free access 
to the Ibadat Khanah ; now the learned professors of 
all other religions were invited and asked to make a 
case for their respective creeds. The idea underlying 
the whole experiment was indeed to establish a com- 
mon religion acceptable to everyone of his subjects. 
Now what was that common religion to be ? Islam ? 
Would the Zimmls accept it ? The answer is self- 
evident. There was, however, one way out of this fix : 
to fuse the rituals of Hinduism and of other religions 
into Islam, or to unite the fundamentals of Islam and 
other religions with Hinduism. 

The ground having been prepared, a coup de etat 

tA , . was required to carry the experiment to 

Its promulgation. .,..?. , . A , , 

its logical conclusion. Armed at all 

points and feeling secure in his position, the Emperor 
convened a meeting, to which all religious experts, 
military commanders and masters of learning were 


invited and the evils of the existence of so many 
religions were exposed in their presence. The Emperor 
addressed them in these wordo : 

" We ought to bring the different religions of 
India into one, but in such a fashion that they should 
be one and all : with the greatest advantage of taking 
what is good in every creed and discarding the 
remainder. In this way, honour would be done to 
God, peace and prosperity would be restored to the 
people and security to the empire." 

The resolution was carried almost unopposed. 

The salient features of tha new faith 
Its principles. , - , ,. , i 

having been discussed, its principles 

and practices were read aloud. It bore the name of 
Din-i-Ilahi, or Divine Faith, also Tauhid-i-Ilahi, or 
Divine Monotheism. Its basis was the Unity of God, 
the corner-stone of Islam. Its ritual was eclectic, 
borrowed chiefly from Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. 
A perfect disciple of the Divine Faith was bound to 
believe in the Unity of God and to acknowledge Akbar 
as His Caliph He had to make a four-fold dedication 
of wealth, life, honour and religion to His Majesty. 
He was expected to abstain from eating meat of all 
kinds. Prostration, or Sijdah, was allowed to be done 
to the Emperor. Reverence for the sun and veneration 
for fire became a prominent part of the ritual. Sunday 
was fixed as the day of performing the ceremony of 
conversion, when the convert received from His Majesty 
1 the Great Name 1 and the symbolical motto : ' Allaho 
Akbar.' Instead of the usual Muslim salutation 
As-Saldm-Alaikum and Wd-Alaikum-As-Salam, which 


the brethren in faith observed on seeing each other 
the members of the Divine ]?aith saluted one another 
by saying 'Allaho Akbar* and ' J all-a-J alalohu\ From 
time to time disciplinary rules and regulations were 
passed by the Emperor for the members of his creed 
according to his need. 

A careful consideration of the principles and 
practices of the Divine Faith, as 
summarised above, will not fail to 
reveal to the reader the statesman- 
ship of its author. It embraced almost all the important 
religions of T ndia. It was so cleverly manipulated as to 
attract the entire population. Its soul was the cardinal 
principle of Islam, its body the Hindu and Zoroastrian 
ritual. The monotheistic principle of Islam was 
retained and the rites of all other religions were adopted 
in proportion to their importance in the political history 
of Hindustan. To a liberal Muslim, it was Islam pre- 
sented in a different form. To a Hindu, whose 
prominent ceremonies were incorporated, it was nothing 
short of Hinduism. To a Zoroastrian, whose articles 
of sun-worship and fire-worship were included, it was 
nothing but their religion. Sunday was fixed as the day 
of initiation only to please the Christians. Thus, almost 
every shade of Indian religious opinion was represented 
in the Divine Faith. It was, in a sense, a universal 
religion of India, having enough in it to attract anyone 
to its originator. Historians, whose knowledge of 
Indian history, particularly of pre-Islamic times, is 
superficial and whose acquaintance with the history of 
the Saracens, particularly with that of the Ommeyades 


and the Abbassides, is deficient, ha,e failed to understand 
the real meaning of the Divine Faith and the sole aim 
of its author. Branding Akbar as an apostate, they 
have condemned his creed in the bitterest of words. 
"The Divine Faith," says Dr. Smith, "was a monument 
of Akbar's folly and not of his wisdom." Elsewhere he 
calls it " a silly invention". Similarly, Blochmann and 
others have been deceived by it. They have mistaken 
appearance for actuality. Following Badaoni, a bigoted 
and over-strict Muslim, with whom the omission of a 
single ceremony of Islam amounted to apostasy, and 
adopting the same line of argument as hs, they have 
inevitably come to the same conclusion. As a pro- 
found student of Indian as well as Islamic history, 
Akbar made a direct appeal to the innermost sentiments 
of his subjects by giving his Sdngha a religious charac- 
ter. Neither the aim of the order nor the object of its 
author can be duly appreciated unless it is regarded as 
an instrument with which the master-mind endeavoured 
to consolidate the Mughal Empire by eradicating from 
the minds of the ruled their sense of subordination to 
Muslim rulers. The chief motive underlying the pro- 
mulgation of the Divine Faith was the unification of 
India. To achieve this, it was necessary first to 
conquer and then to command sincere devotion from 
all and sundry by granting them the freedom of wor- 
ship and the liberty of conscience. Therefore, he drew 
up such a religious code in essence a political docu- 
mentas would commend itself to the whole population. 
Momentous as the proclamation of the Divine Faith 
was, equally far-reaching were its consequences. It 


completely changed the character of Muslim Rule 
in India. The Mughal Emperor was no longer regarded 
as a foreigner trampling upon the lives and liberties of 
the sons of the soil and depriving them of their 
birth-rights. The members of the Divine Faith had 
bound themselves by an oath to stand by the Emperor in 
weal and woe, to sacrifice their religion, honour, wealth, 
life, liberty and all for him. The vow was faithfully 
kept and His Majesty could always rely upon them. 
The fact that he was able to induce the proudest of the 
Rajputs, who prided upon the nobility of their birth 
and the purity of their blood above everything else, to 
give him and his sons their daughters in marriage, 
speaks volumes. Dealing a coup de grace to Rajput 
supremacy, the Divine Faith kept up the integrity of 
the Mughal Empire for a century and a half. 

Thus, there can be no doubt that the Divine Faith 
(Din-i-Ildhi) was not a religious cult or creed, but 
a political code, prepared by a politician and not 
a prophet, in accordance with the conditions of the 
country, the tendencies of the times and the sentiments 
of his subjects. As long as Akbar lived, he enjoyed 
the unmixed loyalty of his subjects. After his death, 
he bequeathed to his successors a legacy of loyalty to 
his dynasty immeasurably richer than any other Muslim 
king before him had left to his heirs. No one can 
appreciate the real importance of the Divine Faith and 
its exact place in Indian history except in connection 
with the history of the Saracens on the one hand, and 
the'history of India on the other. The Divine Religion 
was the child of the Age ; its founder was the true son of 



the Renaissance and the Reforn.ation. There can be 
no shutting ones eye to the fact that Akbar was a 
statesman, splendid and unsurpassed in the annals of 
Indian history. He was an empire-builder rather than 
a religious propagandist or a missionary. He was 
indeed the Apostle of Indian Unity, and his was the 
Message of Peace. He established and consolidated 
his empire through the instrumentality of religion, not 
in reality but in formality. 

The promulgation of the Divine Faith was followed 
by a series of anti-Islamic ordinances 

alle g ed to have heen iss ~ ed b Y Akbar 
with the sole aim of destroying Islam, 

Badaoni has recorded them in his book and repeated 
them more than once. The following will suffice to 
serve our purpose: (1) Sijdah was allowed to be done 
to the Emperor, (2) fire-worship and sun-worship were 
enjoined, (3) boars were kept in the Imperial Palace and 
looking at them every morning was regarded as 
meritorious, (4) the use of beef, garlic and onion, and 
the wearing of beards were forbidden, (5) Mullahs and 
Sfaaifahs were exiled, (6) circumcision of children before 
the age of twelve and the marriage of girls before the 
age of puberty were prohibited, (7) the study of Arabic 
was discouraged, (8) public prayers and the Azdn were 
abolished, (9) Muslim names, such as Muhammad, 
Ahmad and Mustafa, were changed to other names 
because they had become offensive to His Majesty, 
(10) pilgrimage to Mecca and fasting in the month of 
Ramzan were discontinued, (11) the Qur'an and the 
Hadith were tabooed, (12) mosques and prayer-rooms 


were turned into s' ore-houses and guard-rooms ; so 
much so, says BadaonI, that :< the straight wall of clear 
law and of firm religion was cast down, so that after 
five or six years not a trace of Islam was left in him 
(Akbar) and everything was turned topsy turvy,' and 
concludes that " Akbar showed bitter hostility to the 
faith of his ancestors and his own youth and actually 
perpetrated a persecution of Islam." Blochmann and 
Smith follow Badaoni and maintain that by the year 
1582 A. C., which saw the proclamation of the Divine 
Faith, Akbar had ceased to be a Muslim. According 
to them, he died without the benefit of the prayers of 
any church or sect. 

Before examining these ordinances, it is essential 

n to enquire into their origin. This 

1 heir criticism. . ... ." ,. 

necessitates a criticism of Badaoni, 

their author. Born in an age, when party-politics ruled 
supreme even in Islam and when sectarianism swayed 
the hearts and the minds of even Muslims, Badaoni 
was the product of his environment. Educated in the 
orthodox school under the influence of the most bigoted 
of the Ulama, his views had been moulded accordingly. 
He was a Muslim with whom, in common with his 
class, ritual weighed more than religion. He regarded 
the omission of a single ceremony as amounting 
almost to apostasy. Naturally, therefore, he did not 
like the Emperor on account of his liberal ways and 
catholic views. As a necessary sequel, he was hated by 
His Majesty, who always kept him at arm's length on 
account of his inflexible orthodoxy. 'Allama Abul 
Fazl was, on the other hand, "a man capable of teaching 


the Mullahs a lesson." Aiid, when he was taken into 
confidence by the Emperor, Badaom's anger knew no 
bounds. Thus exasperated, he began to pour out the 
venom of his wrath on the Emperor and his confidential 
friend. His diatribe is couched in a language that 
teems with anathemas and exaggerations. He holds 
the 'Allama responsible for the acts of the Emperor. 
"The 'Allama was the man," he said, "who set the 
world on flames." 

All this creates doubts in the mind of the historian, 
Von Noer's anc ^ ^ e cannot accept Badaoni's 

appraisal of account at its face value. A bigoted 

Badaoni. , . _ . . , 

and narrow-minded sectarian as he 

was, he could not help misconstruing Akbar's catholicity. 
He saw everything with jaundiced eyes and so painted 
a melancholy picture. Von Noer's criticism of his 
character is significant : " Badaoni certainly takes every 
opportunity of raking up the notion of Akbar's apotheosis 
for the purpose of renewing attacks upon the great 
emperor. He, however, was never in intimate relation 
to the Din-i-Ilahi, he repeats tlie misconceptions 
current among the populace, marred and alloyed by 
popular modes of perception. Akbar might justly have 
contemplated the acts of his reign with legitimate pride, 
but many incidents of his life prove him to have been 
among the most modest of men. It was the people 
who made a God of the man who was the founder and 
head of an order at once political, philosophic and 
religious. One of his creations will assure to him for 
all time a pre-eminent place among the benefactors of 
humanity greatness and universal tolerance in matters 


of religious belief. If in very deed he had contemplated 
the deification of himself, a design certainly foreign to 
his character, these words of Voltaire would serve as 
his vindication : " C4st le privilege du vrai genie et 
surtout du gbnie qui ouvre tine carriere, de faire 
impundment de grandes f antes. 19 

Sufficient has been said about the origin of the 

ordinances ; it now behoves us to 
prostration. examine their character and to 

ascertain their veracity. Sijdah, or 
prostration, i? one of the positions at the Muslim prayer, 
and no one except God is entitled to it. It was allowed 
to be done to the Emperor, not as an article of faith 
but as an act of salutation. In the first place, it was a 
concession to Hindu sentiment : With the Hindu kings 
of old it was a recognised institution inasmuch as it 
indicated the depth of devotion shown to the sovereign 
by his subjects. Secondly, it was quite in keeping with 
Persian traditions : At the court of Persian autocrats 
prostration had been the popular mode of greeting. 
Thirdly, the Abbassides had also adopted this ritual : 
They made their subjects kiss the ground before them. 
Sometimes a concession was accorded to high officials 
who were required to kiss the Caliph's hand or foot or 
the edge of his robe. Finally, when Akbar was treated 
by his flattering friends as the representative of God on 
earth, he had to permit this practice, else ' the people at 
large would never have submitted ', 

Fire-worship and sun-worship were adopted only 

Fire-worship and to enlist the sympathies of those with 
sun-worship. whom these constituted the ; r creed> 


In a land, where the v^ry word 'Muslim ' was an 
eyesore to the natives, Akbar thought it expedient 
to subscribe to the beliefs of his Hindu subjects in spite 
of their hollowness. In this respect, he went even so 
far that the professors of various religions had good 
reasons to claim him as a convert to their cults. 
Whereas, in fact, he always concealed his religious 
identity in byways and corners. 

" The Hindus who believe in incarnations said that 
Why were boars ^he bar belonged to the ten forms 

kept in the which God Almighty had once 

Imperial Palace ? - 

assumed. So a certain number of 

these animals were kept in the Imperial Palace to 
please the Rani-Queens, whose smallest wishes the 
Emperor took care to carry out to their entire 

To the ignorant of Indian history the presence of 
Women in the a large number of women in the 
Imperial Hprem. i mper ial Harem may appear as another 
sacrilege ; but to one acquainted with it, it is a monu- 
ment of his wisdom. Among the number, there were the 
daughters of Rajput Princes who owed allegiance to the 
Emperor. To cement this allegiance, matrimonial 
alliances were formed. From every Rajput Prince, 
whom he reduced to obedience, Akbar took his daughter 
in marriage and granted him independence, subject 
to his control. Thus were the most formidable 
antagonists of Islam reduced to vassalage. For once 
they entered into matrimonial alliances with the Emperor, 
there was then no escape: They could not withdraw 
their allegiance, for that would have meant an attack on 


their own daughters. 

Exactly in the same spirit Akbar introduced some 
Hindu customs Hindu customs and practices. For 
and practices. i nstance> His Majesty himself used 
to wear the Hindu mark, called tttak, on his 
forehead to please the Ranis. The use of garlic and 
onion and the wearing of beards were forbidden partly 
because they were inconvenient in kissing and partly 
because they were repugnant to his Hindu wives. 

Cow has prevented the possibility of Hindu- 
Muslim unity more than anything 
Why was f TTT1 TT . , /. 

slaugter of cows else. Whereas Hindus regard it as 
forbidden? thejr M&f& (mot her), and hold it 

sacred, Muslims kill it, eat its flesh and regard it their 
favourite food. Akbar understood the philosophy of 
Gau Ralthshd and Gau-Bhakhsk<*> and knew that it was 
impossible to unite the cow-caring and the cow-killing 
classes in view of the teachings of contemporary Hindu 
religious leaders. As he wanted to unite and rule, the 
slaughter of cows was prohibited. 

Some of the Mullahs and Shaikhs were doubtless 
Why were banished from the Mughal Empire 

Mullahs and g ut t h e ir banishment was due not to 

Shaikhs exiled ? 

their religious beliefs but to the 

enmity they cherished against the established regime, 
which was characterised by the freedom of worship and 
the liberty of conscience. They were exiled because 
they had become a source of trouble to the State. 

The remaining regulations were passed, as is also 
admitted by Badaoni himself, to please the infidels outside 
and the Ranis inside the Palace. They, however, were 


never strictly en forced, as is indicated by the trend ol his 
narrative. They were issued time and again under presrure 
from Hindu friends and wives. Some of them were such 
that they were cancelled soon after they were passed. 
Others remained confined to the Palace and were never 
ventilated outside. Most of them were based on 
hearsay, for there is no evidence to show that he 
had personal knowledge of all that he recorded in 
his narrative or that he ever attempted to ascertain its 
veracity. He is supported only by the Jesuits, who 
took their cue either from BadaonI himself or from 
others of his class, i.e., the orthodox, who nad declared 
war against Akbar, ' the impious empenr'. Under the 
circumstances it is not fair to attach any importance to 
the allegations made by BadaonI. 

Dr. Smith has exhausted his eloquence in trying to 

- . . prove that these regulations were 

Criticism of \ _ . _ , < , r 

Smith's views on many acts of fierce intolerance . If 

the British Government attempted 
such measures, "says he, " it would not 
last a week." Does he mean to point out that the Mughal 
Emperor was successful in enforcing them because his 
government was stronger than the British Government ? 
To be sure if the British Government, with its incom- 
parably vast resources, incalculable weapons in its 
armoury and its matchless organization, is unable to stem 
the tide of opposition once excited by religious intoler- 
ance, how could Akbar, who did not possess even a 
single standing army, succeed in systematically outraging 
the sentiments of his n ubjects, specially the Muslims? 
Elsewhere he remarks that * on occasions he performed 


acts of conformity from motives of policy/ Now, if it is 
permissible that the Emperor after 1582 A.C. conformed 
to the faith of his forefathers from motives of policy, 
there is every reason to believe that similar motives 
prompted him to discard its ceremonies sometimes. 
And, when he did this, theZiwwJs, specially the Hindus, 
were quite satisfied. Underlying his disagreement 
with the Muslims was his agreement to disagree with 
the Hindus without offending their susceptibilities. 
This enabled him to introduce his beneficial legislation 
which would have been impossible otherwise. 

While declaring him as an apostate from Islam, 

~ . . Dr. Smith says that Akbar ' died as he 

Conclusion. J 

had lived a man whose religion 
nobody could name and he passed away without the 
benefit of the prayers of any church or sect '.* In the 
same breath he strikes the following note: "Akbar, 
whatever may have been his failings in practice, was 
a sincerely religious man, constitutionally devout. 
Jahangir declares that his father ' never for one moment 
forgot God '. He performed his prayers fourf times a 

day spending a considerable time over them 

Apart from formal religious exercises, his whole course 
of life testified to the extreme interest taken by him in 
the problem of the relations between God and man, 
and many of his sayings express his views on the 

* Akbar the Great Mogul, by V. A. Smith, p. 323. 

fAs a rule, Muslim canonical prayers are offered five times 
a day, but in certain circumstances t vo afternoon prayers can 
be offered together and the number of times is thus reduced to 
four from five. 


subject."* Such a man cannot be said to have 'died With- 
out the benefit of the prayers of any church or sect '. 
The Ain-i-Akbarl and the Akbarndmah, written under 
his orders by 'Allama Abul Fazl, who held the highest 
place in the innermost circle of his intimate friends, and 
the Tttzk-i-Jahangiri, written by his son, Jahanglr, do 
not betray the slightest sign of his renouncing the 
religion of his forefathers. On the other hand, they 
fully confirm the fact that he remained a Muslim 
throughout his life. The assertion of some scholars 
that he made formal profession of his faith in Islam by 
repeating the Raima and declaring himself a Musalman 
on his death-bed, consistent as it is with his career, 
carries conviction when corroborated by foreign con- 
temporaries and when viewed in the light of the above 
discussion. According to Father Antony Botelho, a 
contemporary Portuguese missionary, ' he (Akbar) died 
as he was born, a Muhammedan f .f Sir Thomas Roe 
supports the statement of Father Botelho when he says 
that ' he (Akbar) died in the formal profession of his 
sect '.{ Major Price's translation of the Tuzk-i-Jahdngirl 
contains the following passages apropos of the topic : 
"He (Akbar) had .... desired me (Jahanglr) to 
send for Mlran Sadr Jahan in order to repeat with him 

the Kalmd Shahadat On his arrival, I placed Sadr 

Jahan on both knees by my father's side and he 

*Akbar the Great Mogul, by V. A. Smith, pp. 349-50. 

1[The Jesuit Missions to the Emperor Akbar, J, A. S. B, part 1, 
Vol. Ixv, 1896, by E. D. Mac.agan. 

%The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe, ed. by Foster, Halkuyt 
Society, 1899. 


commenced reciting the creed of the faithful 

After expressing himself as above, he directed Sadr 

Jahan once more to repeat the Kalmd, and he recited 
the solemn text himself with a voice equally loud and 
distinct. He then desired the Sadr to continue repeating 
by his pillow the Surd Neish, and another chapter of the 
Koran, together with the Adeildh prayer, in order that 
he might be enabled to render up his soul with as little 
struggle as possible. Accordingly, the Sadr Jahan had 
finished the Sara Neish and had last words of the 
prayer on his lips when with no other symptom than a 
tear drop in the corner of his eye, my father resigned 
his soul into the hands of his Creator."* 

The discussion then boils down to this that Akbar 
was a Muslim : Born as a Muslim, he lived as a 
Muslim, died as a Muslim and was succeeded by a 
Muslim. To say that he 'passed away without the 
benefit of the prayers of any church or sect' is a gross 
misrepresentation of facts. 

* Tuzk-i'Jahangiri, trans., Major David Price, pp. 75-76. 
Also see A. Yusuf Ah in /. of E. I. Assoc., July, 1915, p. 309 ; 
Darbar-i-Akbari, by M. Muhammad Hussain Azad, p. 36 ff.; and 
Tarikh-i-Hindustan, M. ZakSullah, vol. v. pp. 808 ff. I may 
appropriately point out at this place that recently some 
doubts have been cast on the genuineness of the Memoirs o/ 
Jahangir, which Major David Price translated in 1829 A. C. and 
from which I have reproduced the above extracts. They are 
regarded as spurious by some and as genuine by others. It is 
not easy to ascertain the truth. However, on the question 
whether Akbar died as a * Muhammadan ' or ' passed away 
without the benefit of the prayers < t any church or sect \ the 
evidence of the two contemporary Christians quoted above is 
conclusive, unless their accounts too are called in question. 



A dministration 
Akbar did not take long to realize that the existing 

system of government, based on the 
Introductory. . , 

strength of standing armies, each 

commanded by a general who occupied a central 
position in his province and cared uiore foi his personal 
aggrandisement than for the interests of the empire as a 
whole, was absolutely unfounded. It was woefully 
wanting in the principle of unity and cohesion. It 
secured no attachment, conciliated no prejudices and 
cared little for the faith and feelings, customs and 
traditions, ideals and aspirations of the sons of the soil 
and, therefore, remained without root, exposed to all 
storms oi misfortune. Considering carefully the pros and 
jons of the old system, he evolved an entirely new system 
quite in consistence with the spirit ot the age and the 
sentiments of his subjects. He built up an empire and 
a nation not oil the foundation of swords and military 
terrorism but on the acquiescent good- will of his 
subjects. In Indo-Islamic history he has always figured 
as a champion not of any particular section but of all 
his subjects and, as such, he is recognised to the 
present day. There was not a single person who was 
cut off from active sympathy with him. It will be 
hard to find a parallel, either in ancient or in modern 


history, to the far-sighted statesmanship and construc- 
tive administrative genius with which he fashioned and 
set in motion the wheels of his government 

The Emperor himself was at the helm of civil as well 

as military administration. . He was 
Government. the fountain-head of authority, both 

religious and secular. His powers 
were unlimited and his will was irresistible. He had a 
number of ministers, but he was their teacher rather 
than their pupil, as is suggested by Smith. The 
marvellous organization, which he effected in his 
government, was mostly the outcome of his own 
extraordinary genius. He was, no doubt, an autocrat, 
but his autocracy fell little short of Banthamite demo- 
cracy : He secured ' the greatest happiness of the 
greatest number.' He was indeed the beau ideal of a 
statesman. His methods of administration were 
couched in humanity and fellow-feelings. He employed 
the services of a set of brilliant officers in the various 
departments of his administration. The Vakil was 
the highest officer, next only to the Emperor. He was, 
so to say, the Vice-regent, Chancellor, or Prime Minister. 
He did not hold any definite portfolio but, like the Vazlr 
of the Abbassides, acted as the alter ego of His Majesty 
in important administrative affairs. His counsel was 
sought in serious situations. Below him was the 
Diwdn, the Chief Revenue Officer, or the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, who controlled the finances of the 
Empire, superintended the state treasuries and audited 
all accounts. He regulated the fiscal policy and decided 
revenue matters in concurrence with the Emperor. 


He had a separate office where all revenue papers, 
returns and dispatches were received from the various 
parts of the Mughal Empire and disposed of under his 
personal supervision. The BaJchshl was, so to say, the 
Paymaster-General of the Imperial Army, and the 
Secretary of War rolled into one. As such, the salary- 
bills of all civil and military officers were examined and 
passed by him. Besides his own duty, he performed a 
number of odd jobs : he assigned positions to military 
commanders before the battle, laid the muster-roll 
before the Emperor and looked after the recruitment of 
new soldiers, though it did not fall to his duty to 
take command himself in the battle-field. The Khdn-i- 
Sdmdn was, as the word implies, the Superintendent of 
Stores. He was in charge of the Imperial household 
establishment and had the entire control of the Royal 
Mess and other supplies. He accompanied the Emperor 
in all his out-door undertakings and managed his food, 
tents and stores. He was also the head of His 
Majesty's personal stiff. The Sadr-i-Sudur was the 
highest judicial officer in the Empire. He might be 
called the Lord Chief Justice of India at the time of 
Akbar. The Mohtasib was the censor of public morals. 
His first and foremost duty consisted in seeing that the 
Sfiariyat was properly observed and the Muslim Law 
was obeyed in its entirety. He suppressed public 
immorality by punishing those who drank, those who 
gambled and those who paid court to dancing-girls. 
Besides these, there were some other officers who held 
different portfolios of the Mughal Government. Their 
duties cannot be detailed here but their names will give 


a sufficient idea of the naturp thereof. They were : the 
Mustaufi, or Auditor-General ; the Awdrajah Nawis, or 
Superintendent of daily expenditure at the Imperial 
Court; the Nazir-i-Buyvtat, or Superintendent of the 
Imperial Workshop ; the Mushrif, or Revenue Secretary, 
the Mir-i-Bahri, or Admiral and Officer of the 
Harbours ; the Mlr-i-Barr, or Superintendent of Forests ; 
the Qur Begi, or Superintendent of the Royal Stud ; 
the Kiiawdn Salar, or Superintendent of the Royal 
Kitchen; the Wdqd 9 Nawls, or the News- Writer, and 
the Mtr-i-Arz, one who -presented all petitions to His 
Majesty brought b'y those who wished to lay them 
before the Euiperor, i.e., Secretary. 

For purposes of efficient and effective administra- 
tion, Akbar abolished the system of 
Gowranfent. assigning jagirs and parcelled out the 

Mughal Empire into provinces or 
Subahs, as they were then called. Each Subdh was a 
replica of the Empire in all respects, and each Subdhddr 
was a sovereign on a small scale. $ The Subdhddr was 
officially known as Sipdhsdldr. As a representative of tiie 
Emperor, he exercised unlimited powers as long as he 
enjoyed that office. His jurisdiction embraced civil as 
well as military department. He was the Commander- 
in-Chief of the provincial forces and the head of the 
judiciary. He could appoint and dismiss officers at his 
own sweet will. But he was not authorised to declare 
war, or make treaty, inflict capital punishment, or 
interfere in religious matters. These were imperial 
questions and were referred* to the Emperor for his 
sanction. Next in order of importance was the Diwan, 


who acted independently of the Subahdar and was 
responsible to the Central Government He was in 
charge of the revenue and finance departments and all 
new appointments and dismissals therein rested with 
him. 'He possessed the power of the purse, and all 
bills of payment were signed by him/ Besides, he 
looked after such judicial functions as the revenue 
officers and collectors were entrusted with and tried 
almost all revenue cases. When at a certain point he 
came into conflict with the Subahdar, the point was 
referred to the Central Government for decision. The 
provincial BaJchshl had the same status ,and performed 
similar functions as his Imperial prototype. Each 
province had a Sadr, who was deputed by thfe Sadr-i- 
Sudur of the Central Government to administer the 
provincial Sayurghals. He was quite independent of 
the Subahdar and the Diwdn and had a separate 
office of his own. He looked after the welfare of the 
rent-free Jdglrddrs and regulated public charity. He 
commanded great influence and respect in the province. 
The Amil was the revenue collector. He was entrusted 
with the task* of maintaining general law and order by 
suppressing highway robbery and other similar crimes, 
ascertaining the extent of the area of land under the 
plough, reclaiming waste lands, promoting cultivation, 
punishing illegal exactions in the collection of land 
revenue, and submitting monthly reports regarding the 
rates of tenements, market prices and the economic 
condition of the people to the Central Government, 


To control and systematise the machinery of govern- 
ment more minutely, each Subah was 
Administration. sub-divided into several Sarkdrs 
and each Sarkar into a multitude 
of Pargands or Mahals. The Sarkdr corresponded 
to our modern District and was administered by the 
Faujddr. The duties of the Faufddr were civil as well 
as military. As a civil officer, he assisted the Sipdhsdldr 
in maintaining law and order. According to Professor 
Sarkar, "he was the only commander of a military 
force stationed in the country to put down smaller 
rebellions, disperse or arrest robber gangs, take cogniz- 
ance of all violent crimes, and make demonstration of 
force to overawe opposition to the revenue authorities 
or the criminal judge or the censor." Though his 
appointment as well as dismissal rested with the 
Subdhdar, he was required to keep himself in direct 
communication with the Central as much as with the 
Provincial Government. The Kotwdl was the custodian 
of public peace. His duties were multifarious. As a 
Policeman-in-chief, his first and foremost duty was to 
detect, punish and prevent crime, to trace the where- 
abouts of all offenders and evil-doers, and to protect 
the life and property of the people. He kept watch 
over the movements of strangers, patrolled the city at 
night to prevent theft and robbery, examined weights 
and measures, kept a register of houses and roads, and 
took care of the property of the heirless deceased and 
missing persons. He also exercised magisterial powers 
in certain cases. The Bitikch* held the same status 
as the A mil. He was expected to have a thorough 


knowledge of the customs in vogue and the regulation? 
in force in the Sarkdr in hi* charge. He must be a 
good accountant and a facile writer. His chief duties 
consisted in supervising the work of the Qdnungos, 
preparing revenue abstracts and submitting a report to 
the Court every year. The Khizdnddr, also known as 
Potddr, was the treasury officer. He received payments 
from the cultivators, issued a receipt for every payment 
made and kept a ledger in order to keep his accounts 
absolutely accurate. He could not make payment 
unless he received a voucher signed by the Dlwan. 
The Waqa 1 Nawis was the recorder of events and 
occurrences. When the Sipdhsdldr held his court, the 
Waqa Nawis took his seat near him and penned 
down the proceedings on the spot and submitted them 
to the Central Government. There was a regular 
army of these officers and it was through them that the 
Emperor acquainted himself with the events that took 
place in his various provinces. Other important 
officers, who loomed large in the subordinate services, 
were the Karkuns, the Qdnungos, the Muqaddams 
and the Patwdrls. All these were revenue officers, 
but in addition to this, the Qdnungo was the head 
of a Pargand and the Muqaddam was the head of 
a village. 

Akbar appreciated and rewarded merit from what- 
Imperial ever sources it was evinced, irrespective 

of caste or creed. The Imperial 
Service was not the monopoly of the ruling class. It was 
open to all men of merits, rulers or ruled. No ban was 
put on the Hindus. Those among them, who deserved, 


were entrusted with the highest of civil as well as 
military posts. As appointment to every post rested 
with the Emperor, he used his judgment independently 
in the selection of the pick for the Imperial Service. 
By opening careers to talents he secured the services 
of the best brains of India and outside. If the different 
departments of the Mughal Government worked 
efficiently in the time of Akbar, it was because the 
Imperial Service was maintained in a high state of 

While the conduct of all civil and military 

. officers was subject to the scrutiny 

Secret Service. J ... 

of the sovereign, there was still a 

separate department of secret intelligence. There 
were several scouts who watched the movements of 
State officials and kept the Emperor informed of their 
actions. The Subahdars also employed spies in order 
to acquire information about the working of the 
administrative machinery and to prevent corruption. 
The system worked so well that almost all Government 
officials tried to be honest in their dealings with the 
people and the Emperor. 

Akbar himself was the fountain of justice. His 
Administration of was the highest court of appeal, and 
law and justice. everyone could have free access to 
him. The Sadr-i-Sudur tried all important civil suits, 
especially of religious character. The Qazi-ul-Quzat, 
assisted by a set of Qazis and Muftis and Mir-i-Adls, 
disseminated justice in accordance with the Code of 
Islam. The Qazl investigated the case and sifted 
the evidence, the Mufti expounded the law and the 


Mir-i-Adl delivered the judgment. The proceedings 
were usually verbal and there were no professional lawyers 
as we have in these days. The usual punishment 
awarded for minor crimes was detention in prison 
or whipping. Fines were not unknown, but were rare. 
The sentence of death was awarded for treason, rebellion 
and wilful murder, by the Emperor himself. All 
serious cases were referred to him and he could annul 
or reverse the decisions of the lower courts. The punish- 
ments inflicted were certainly severe, very severe if 
judged by modern notions of criminal law and procedure, 
but they served as excellent deterrents. 

Akbar was deeply interested in the promotion of 
Promotion of education. Schools and colleges were 

education. founded and richly endowed. Not 

only were the educational institutions provided with 
renowned professors, but the entire system of education 
was reformed. In the first place, the curriculum 
was so modified as to enable the students to equip 
themselves intellectually according to their aims and 
ambitions. Secondly, the modus operandi of teaching 
was so improved that it took comparatively very little 
time to acquire a fairly decent education. Stipends and 
scholarships were granted to deserving students and 
arrangements were made for the free education of poor 
students. Provisions were also made for the education 
of Hindu students in Muslim schools and Persian was 
made a compulsory subject for all. Women's education 
was not neglected. The Emperor himself maintained a 
girls' school in his own palace at Fathpur SikrI. 
Technical education was diffused by the system of 



' There existed a welUorganized system of postal 

service in India at the time of Akbar. 

Postal Service. . . . . 

In all the serais along the imperial 

routes horses were kept to provide a regular mail-service 
in order to acquaint the Emperor of the important events 
that took place in the far-flung provinces of his empire 
The Waqa Nawis sent daily dispatches to the Central 
Government through the horsemen or mail-servants 
employed especially for the purpose. Swifter, perhaps, 
than the horse-post was the foot-post. On every 
imperial highway there was, at an interval of six miles, 
a post-office, called Chowkl. Every runner, who brought 
the imperial dispatches, placed them on its floor and the 
runner appointed to go to the next Chowkl picked them 
up and set off at full speed without delay. Thus were 
the news transmitted. At night time the runners were 
guided and protected by the avenues of trees planted on 
either side of the roads. Where there were no trees, 
heaps of stones were set up at a distance of every five 
hundred paces and ,kept white- washed by the residents 
of the neighbouring village. Thus it was that the 
runner was often swifter than the horseman ; for at night 
in the dark the former ran on undeterred by darkness 
or storm, but the latter was compelled to ride slowly. 
This system worked so well that it secured the 
stability of the empire by keeping the Emperor in 
close contact with the provincial governments. It 
served as a connecting link ^between him and his 


The principal means of communication and trans- 
Means of portation were roads and highways, 
communication Tfaey were , ooked after fay the p ubHc 

transportation. Works Department. Great arterial 
roads linked the remotest parts of the Mughal Empire 
over myriads of miles. Special care was taken to 
secure the life and property of the travellers. At 
convenient stages along important roads public 
hostels, with fruit-gardens, water-tanks and provision- 
shops, were built and separate arrangements were made 
for the lodging and messing of Hindus and Muslims. 
Rivers were also availed of for popular traffic and trade 
purposes, but chiefly where the nature of the country 
did not permit of proper road-making. 

Previously, the various mints had been under the 

Imperial Mints char e of minor officials, called 

and their Chaudharis, who did not possess 

administration. . 

sufficient rank and personal weight to 

secure satisfactory administration. Abolishing all local 
coinages, Akbar established five imperial mints in 
Bengal, Lahore, Jaunpur, Gujarat and Ahmadabad and 
entrusted them to Todar Mai, Muzaffar Khan, 
Khwajah Shah Mansur, Khwajah Imam-ud-Din Hussain 
and Asaf Khan, respectively. A responsible Master of 
of the Mint was appointed at the Capital to exercise 
general administrative control over the provincial mints 
and the person selected was Abd-us-Samad. Subse- 
quently, several modifications were introduced in the 
mint regulations. The result was an extremely varied 
coinage, excellent as regards the purity of metal, the 
fullness of weight and artistic execution. 


The Police Department was maintained in a most 

... F satisfactory state. The principal police 

officer was the Kotwdl whose duties 

have been described at some length. He was assisted 

by a number of subordinate officers in discharging his 

manifold duties. He was authorised to employ spies 

in order to obtain information about the actual state of 

affairs in the cities. The Kotwdls worked so efficiently 

that 'order and security prevailed in cities, business was 

safe, and foreign merchants were well protected '. 

The crowning achievement of Akbar as an 

, T , administrator was the reorganization 

1 he Land 

Revenue System. of the land revenue system. It was 

indeed the greatest boon that he 
conferred on the people of India. But it presented no 
new invention. Strictly speaking, neither Akbar nor his 
revenue ministers are exclusively entitled to the tribute 
they have exacted for having evolved so elaborate a 
system. Sher Shah Suri must have his due share, for 
it was he who made a systematic survey of the land 
under cultivation and laid the foundations on which 
Akbar raised the superstructure. As he died too soon, 
much of his excellent work was destroyed by the 
anarchy that followed his death. At his restoration, 
Humayun found the empire divided into two parts, 
Crown land, or Kb.dlsd and Jdglr land ; and the time- 
honoured practice of crop division was in vogue. When 
Akbar ascended the throne, he resumed the work of 
Sher Shah and accomplished what the latter had only 
attempted. His principal revenue officers were Itirnad 
Khan, Muzaffar Khan TurbatI and Rajah Todar Mai. 


The one last named had served under Sher Shah duwng 
his short-lived regime and had acquired considerable 
experience in revenue affairs. 

In order to elaborate the existing land revenue 

J L . system four things were found 

Its broad basis. ' 

necessary : (1) to make a correct 

paimdish (measurement) of the whole land under 
cultivation, (2) to ascertain the average produce of each 
bighd of land, (3) to fix the share of the State per bigha, 
and (4) to fix the equivalent for the share of the State so 
fixed in terms of money. In order to survey correctly 
the entire area under cultivation, the instruments of 
mensuration were improved. The Jarlb, joined together 
with iron rings, was adopted as the standard land- 
measure and the land survey was carefully done on its 
basis. To ascertain the average produce per bigha, all 
the cultivable land was divided into four classes, viz., 
(i) Polaj, which was constantly cultivated and was 
never allowed to remain fallow, (ii) Parautl, which was 
left fallow for some time after continuous cultivation, 
(M) Chachar, which was allowed to remain fallow for 
about four years in order to recuperate, (iv) Banjar, 
which remained out of cultivation for more than five 
years. All these four classes were dealt with differently. 
The first two were further divided into three grades : 
good, middling and bad, according to fertility. The 
average of these three grades was to be the estimated 
produce per bigha and this was to serve as the basis of 
the assessment. For example, suppose the yield from 
the good grade of land is 60 maunds of wheat per bigha, 
from the middling it is 45 maunds per bigha and 


from the bad grade it is 30 maunds per bighd. Now 
the total produce from the three grades together is 
135 maunds. The average produce per bigha, therefore, 
is 45 maunds of wheat. The remaining two classes 
were treated separately, inasmuch as they were not 
equal to the first two classes in point of fertility and the 
produce raised. Their revenue was to be increased only 
progressively. In the assessment of the land revenue, 
other circumstances were also taken into consideration, 
e.g., access to water, situation, etc. Great care was 
taken to apportion the different descriptions among the 
peasantry in such a way as to give benefit to all. The 
average produce per bigha having been ascertained, the 
share of the State was fixed at one-third of the aggregate 
produce for good. To revert for a while to the example 
cited above, the average produce per bigha, as worked 
out, is 45 maunds. One-third of this is 15 maunds, 
which is the share of the State, i.e., mahsiil. Having 
fixed the State demand in kind, it was necessary to 
commute it into cash payment. To do this, statements 
of prices current for ten years preceding the survey were 
sent for from each town and every village, and the 
produce due to the Government as its legitimate share 
was commuted for cash payment according to the 
average of the rates shown in those statements. At 
times the commutation was reconsidered at the request 
of the peasant and he was allowed to pay in the produce 
if he thought that the cash rate was fixed too high. 
The commutation business was done by Government 
officers and the cash rates were fixed by them. 
Different rates were fixed for different crops. The rates 


for barley and wheat were different from those of indigo 
and sugarcane. This was the first or tentative 
settlement made by Rajah Todar Mai and Muzaffar 
Khan Turbati in Gujarat during 1573-75 A. C. It 
served as a model for the rest of the Mughal Empire 
in subsequent years. It was known as the Zabti system 
of assessment as against the Nasaq and Ghalldbhdsha. 
The system of farming was abolished and the collectors 
were instructed to deal directly with the agriculturists. 
At first, the settlements were made annually. But since 
regularly recurring measurements, valuations and 
assessments of individual holdings were found to be 
vexatious and cumbersome, the settlement was soon 
made decennial on the basis of the average payments 
of the preceding decade (1571-80 A. C.) This 
prolongation of the term alleviated another evil inherent 
in the existing system : since the assessment varied 
with the kind of crop cultivated, it had the effect of a 
tithe inasmuch as it indisposed the cultivator to obtain 
a richer description of produce, which, though it might 
yield a greater benefit, would have a higher tax to pay 
at the succeeding settlement. Arrangements were 
made to record with great assiduity the measurements 
and classifications detailed above. The distribution of 
land and increase or decrease in the land revenue were 
entered regularly in the village registers. The 
husbandmen were allowed the option of paying the State 
share in cash or kind as they pleased, but the latter 
method of payment was preferred, because it was 
beneficial both to the payer and the payee. They were 
encouraged to bring their rents personally to the State 


at definite periods so that the malpractices of the low 
intermediaries might be prevented. If they thought 
that the amount claimed by the State was too high or 
were in any way dissatisfied with the average fixed, 
they could insist on the actual measurement, division 
and valuation of their crops. They were exempted 
from a number of obnoxious taxes and ensured easy 
means of access to the Emperor in case exorbitant 
rents were collected from them. In many cases 
rebates on the full demand were allowed to them, 
especially when the land suffered from droughts, floods, 
inundations or famines, or remained out of cultivation 
for certain reasons. Besides liberal allowances, Taqqavl 
loans were granted to them from the State treasury to 
enable them to purchase seeds, cattle and agricultural 
implements, and were recovered in easy instalments. 
When famine was rampant, remissions were common in 
the case of the poor and public works were constructed 
to afford relief to the famine-stricken. Akbar stationed 
a Dlwan in each Subah and entrusted him with the 
task of collecting the State revenues and remitting them 
to the Chief Dlwan of the Central Government. In 
each Sarkdr an Amil, in each Pargana a Qunungo and 
in each Dastur a Muqaddam, assisted by other revenue 
officers, collected the State demand and remitted the 
same to the Imperial Treasury. These officers were 
instructed to deal kindly with the cultivators and ' not 
to extend the hand of demand out of season '. To 
facilitate the collection of the State revenues, the empire 
was parcelled out in parts, each yielding a Crore 
( = 10,000,000) of dams (=Rs. 250,000 or 25,000) and 


having a collector, called Qrori. Formerly, the revenue 
accounts were kept in HindL Henceforth they w~re 
kept in Persian. 

The importance of the revenue system as organized 
Importance of and perfected by Akbar merits 

the ^System. a careful consideration. In the realm 

of administration it is the most enduring glory of the 
Akbarian Age. It was twice-blessed : It benefited the 
State as well as the peasantry. The share of the State 
being fixed for ever, fluctuations in the land revenue 
and frauds on the part of the revenue officers were 
prevented. Consequently, the Imperial Treasury was 
enriched and the prosperity of the peasani. increased by 
leaps and bounds. 

We have seen how Akbar commenced career with- 
out any definite territory. To recover 
Military Reforms. J ' . 

his patrimony, to establish his autho- 
rity and to restore law and order the need for a well- 
organized army can be better imagined than described. 
The Imperial Army had four important divisions : 
(i) Infantry, (ii) Artillery, (Hi) Cavalry, and (iv) Navy. 
The infantry consisted of Banduqchls or riflemen, 
Shamsherbaz or swordsmen, Darbdns, 
or porters, Khidmatyds or guards of 
the environs of the Imperial Palace, Pehalwans, or 
wrestlers and Kahdrs or doli-bearers. The Emperor 
himself acted as the Commander-in-Chief and had a 
number of commanders under him, called Sipdhsdlars. 
The artillery was in charge of the Mir-i-Atash or 
Ddroghd-i-Topjckdnd (Superintendent 
of Ordnance Department), who was 


assisted by another officer of importance called 
"The Mir-Atask laid before the Emperor all demands 
made on his department ; all orders to it passed through 
him. He checked the pay-bills and inspected the 
diaries of the Arsenal before sending them on to the 
Khan-i^Saman or Lord Steward. He saw to the post- 
ings of the artillery force and received reports as to 
losses and deficiencies. The agent at the head of the 
artillery pay-office was nominated by him. The des- 
criptive rolls of artillery recruits passed through his 
hands ; all new appointments and promotions were 
made on his initiative. 

The cavahy constituted the most important part 

Cavalry * t ^ ie I m P er i a ' Army. The Mansab- 

ddri System, a short description of 
which will presently follow, was nothing but an 
excellent organization of the cavalry. 

Akbar maintained a well-organized fleet in order to 
defend the coasts against the Maghs 
of Arakan and the Portuguese from 
Mundalgarh. The Naval Department was placed in 
charge of an officer called Amir-ul-Bahr, or Admiral, 
whose fourfold duty was to provide vessels capable of 
carrying elephants ; to appoint expert seamen skilled in 
diagnosing the temper of the sea ; to guard the rivers, 
and to superintend the imposition, the realization and 
remission of tolls and duties. The Emperor gave a 
large number of Pargands to the Amir-ul-Bakr to 
meet the requirements of his department. The fleet 
was maintained at an annual cost of Rs. 8,40,000. The 
ship-building industry received a considerable attention 


of the Emperor. The important ^hip-building centres 
were Lahore, Allahabad, Kashmir, Bengal and That f a 
(on the banks of the Indus) The vessels were 
variously classified according to their kind, size and 
strength. Naval batteries were installed and sailors 
were recruited from the sea-faring tribes. 

There was also an elephant corps. It was main- 

. , i tained in a high state of efficiency. 

Llephant corps. . , . 

The elephants were organized into 

groups of ten, twenty or thirty, commonly called Halqds, 
or circles. Some of the Marsabddrs were asked to 
maintain a certain number of elepnants in addition to 
a fixed number of horses. All elephants had their 

Literally, the word Mansab means place, rank, 
Mansabdari dignity, or office. The Mansabddrs, 

System. (rank-holders) were administrative offi- 

cers, normally engaged in civil work, but each of them 
had to furnish the number of troopers of which he held 
the Mansab. The Mansabdari System, therefore, im- 
plies that civil officers were bound to render military 
service whenever they were called upon to do so. On 
paper there were as many as sixty-six grades of Mansab- 
ddrs, but in actual practice only half the number 
(thirty-three). Of these, the first three grades, ranging 
from 7,000 to 10,000, were reserved for the members of 
the Royal family. Sometimes exceptions were made to 
this rule and men of extraordinary merits were admitted 
to the rank of 7,000. Rajah Todar Mai, Rajah Man 
Singh, Mirza Shah Rukh and Qulich Khan, for instance, 
held the Mansab of 7,000 each. The Mansabddrs were 


paid regular salaries from the State treasury and were re- 
q^ired to pay the cost of their quota of horses, elephants, 
beasts of burden and carts. Their appointments, 
promotions, suspensions and dismissals rested with the 
Emperor, who enforced his regulations in respect of the 
Mansabddrl System with great strictness. The Mansab 
was granted for personal ability and military merits. 
It was not hereditary. The sons of the Mansabddrs 
had to start anew, independent of their fathers' services 
or status. In connection with the Mansabddrl System 
there are two important terms, viz., Zdt and Sdwdr, 
which have baffled the ingenuity of scholars in distin- 
guishing betwsen. Dr. Ishwari Prasad only approximates 
the truth when he says, ' The Zdt was the personal rank 
of Man*abddr, but to this was added a number of extra 
horsemen for which an officer was allowed to draw extra 
allowance, and this was called his Sawar rank.' Besides 
the Mansabddrs, there were some other soldiers, gener- 
ally foot, known as the Dalzhlis and Ahddis. The 
former formed a fixed number of soldiers in charge of 
the Mansabddrs. They were paid by the State. The 
latter constituted a class by themselves. They were 
gentlemen soldiers, enlisted by the Emperor himself for 
his personal service. 

The system of assigning jdglrs to the officers of the 

State was abolished by Sher Shah 
System of __ , , , . f 

payment. Suri only to set in after his short- 

lived regime. Akbar did not like a 
system which put so much power in the hands of the 
Jdglrddrs and diminished the revenues of the State. He 
resumed the/d&tfs, which were, so to say, states within 


states, and converted their, into the Khdlsa, or Crown 
lands, fixing cash salaries for his officers. There were, 
however, a few exceptions : Officers claiming kindred 
with the Emperor or enjoying his favours and such 
charitable institutions as schools and seminaries were 
granted jagirs since no danger accrued to the Govern- 
ment from them. 

If the Mansabddri System worked well it was 

because the Emperor took care to 

brandmgTo^es safeguard against the abuses it was 

and keeping O p en to. False muster was an evil 

descriptive rolls. r . 

from which the Mughal army must 

have suffered. To check this he revived the system 
of branding the horses in the service of the State and of 
keeping descriptive rolls of the troopers and their horses, 
first introduced by Ala-ud-DIn Khiljl, continued by 
Gbiyas-ud-Din and reintroduced by Sher Shah Sun. A 
separate department of branding was created and placed 
under a separate Btf&hs&i and a Darogha. Descriptive 
rolls of officers were prepared and their names, parentage, 
caste, residence and personal description were entered. 
Likewise Chirahs (descriptive rolls) of horses were 
prepared and the details of their descriptions were 
entered. At the time of inspection the marks on the 
body of every soldier and his horse were compared with 
those detailed in the descriptive rolls. It can be 
gathered from the Am that elaborate rules were made 
in respect of admission, inspection, muster and the like, 
of horses. The Emperc* himself inspected the horses 
and ordered his officers to look after them and to 
maintain their military efficiency. 



Literature and Fine Arts 

Akbar was a great patron of art and literature. 
Introductory. The contemporary chroniclers have 

preserved for posterity the names of 
some of the most renowned artists and scholars whom 
the Imperial Court took under its warm wings. As one 
reads through their accounts one comes across a large 
number of those who sought and secured the patronage 
of the Court without fail. The artistic as well as the 
literary productions of that period are still admired for 
their excellence. Here it is intended to give a short 
account of literature and fine arts, without which no 
account of Akbar can be called complete. 

Great as was Akbar's love ol learning, no less was 

his fondness for fostering literature, 
Literature. . / j i ij j/j 

which feeds on knowledge and feeds 

knowledge again, and becomes a valuable asset to the 
cause of civilization. His reign was remarkable for its 
literary activities. Numerous books on various subjects 
were written, compiled and translated under his auspices, 
and historical literature of a very high order was the 

'AlUmah Abul Fazl's hook of Akbar, called 
Akbarnamah. Akbarnamah, will always retain its 

fascination and charm as a minute account of the 



customs and traditions ol the people of India. Thp 
historical importance of this work has been excellently 
set forth by one of its translators in the following 
words : 

' It crystallizes and records in brief for all time the 

Its historical state of Hindu learning, and, besides 

importance. itg statistica i utility> serves as an 

admirable treatise of reference on numerous branches of 
Brahmanical science and on the manners, beliefs, tradi- 
tions, and indigenous lore, which for the most part still 
retain and will long continue their hold or\ the popular 
mind. Above all, as a register of the fiscal areas, the 
revenue settlements, and changes introduced at various 
periods, the harvest returns, valuations and imports 
throughout the provinces of the empire, its originality is 
indisputable as its surpassing historical importance/ 

More valuable than the Akbarndmah is the Ain-i- 
ii which is by far the finest fruit 

partly a history of the Emperor and partly a minute 
record of the revenue, royal household, treasury, military 
regulations and other important matters, with a gazetteer 
of India and -a collection of His Majesty's sayings and 
teachings. No other work gives a better and more 
elaborate pen-picture of contemporary India its lore, 
customs, traditions, etiquette, cookery recipes, and 
religious innovations under the pompous style of Court 
Journal, than this book. Apparently a fiscal manual 
of all the departments of the State and its industries, it 
is much more than that ; it is a history, a gazetteer, nay 
an encyclopaedia. It must form the foundation of every 


book written about Akbar the Great and his reign. 

The Tdrilch-i-Alfi, a history of the millennium 

from the dawn of Islam to the days of 
Tankh-i-Alfi. j j * u -iju 

~" Akbar, was ordered to be compiled by 

a company of distinguished scholars singled out by the 
Emperor, including the reluctant Badaoni. The impor- 
tant events of a thousand years of Islam were accord- 
ingly related from the Athnd-i-Ashariyah point of view 
and the chronology was reckoned from the date of the 
Prophet's demise and not from the date of his 
emigration, *&, Hijra. 

Apart from these books, many more were written 

at this time. The Tdr%l$h-i-Baddom, 
Other books. , . , A , , . - ,. 

secretly written by Abdul Qadir ; a 

commentary on the Ayat-ul-Kursl, by Abul Fazl and 
and his letters ; the T&bqdt-i-Akbari by Nizam-iid-Din 
Ahmad and the Mun&iat of Abul Path are some of the 
other literary monuments produced at this time. 
Historically, they constitute a great asset to this reign. 

Akbar extended every possible encouragement to 
Translated those engaged in the work of transla- 

versions. t j on> ^ t ^j s dj rec tion several copious 

works were translated into Persian from other languages. 
Khan-i-KhanSn Abdur-Rahlm put into Persian the 
Wdqiydt-i-Bdbari (Memoirs of Babar) from the original 
Turkish for the first time and presented the Persian 
version to his Imperial patron, who was not slow in 
rewarding him handsomely for his labours. The Jamd-i- 
Rashidi was translated into Eersian from Arabic by 
Abdul Qadir and the Mu'ajam-ul-Buldan, a geographical 
work of singular charm, by Mullah Ahmad Qasim 


Beg, Shaikh Munawwar, Abdul Oadir and many other 
scholars. The celebrated Shahndmah was turned into 
prose and the Hayat-ul-Haiwan was rendered into 

Akbar patronized Hindu literature just as much as 

... ...... , Muslim. In order to encourage it and 

Hindu Literature. < , r 

also to promote a free exchange of 

religious and social ideas and ideals between the Hindus 
and the Musalmans, he ordered the translation of many 
an important Sanskrit and Hindi book. Here are a few 
instances : Faiz! and a number of learned Brahmans 
put their heads together and turned into Persian from 
Sanskrit an episode of the Mahabhdratd, called Nail and 
Damyanti, after the manner of Laild and Majnun. In 
1582 A. C. Akbar ordered the whole of the epir to be 
translated into Persian. Having invited some erudite 
Pandits, he gave them directions to indite an explanation 
of the copious epic and for several nights, says Dr. Law, 
* he himself devoted his attention to explaining the mean- 
ing to Naqib Khan.' Mullah Sben, Abdul Qadir, 
Sultan Haji Thanes war! and Shaikh Faizi were constant- 
ly engaged in its translation. When the arduous task 
was accomplished, the Great Shaikh wrote its epilogue 
and the book was rechristened as Razmndntah, or the 
Book of War. When the Imperial Court was at Kanauj, 
(then known as Shergarh), Akbar commissioned 
BadSoni to translate the Singdsan Battisl into 
Persian with the help of a Brahman scholar, called 
Parshotam, When the rendering was complete, it 
received the appellation of Khirad-afza-ndtnah, or the 
Book of Increasing Intelligence. Above all, the Rdmdyana 


was put into Persian by BadaonI in 1589 A, C. After 
*our years' strenuous labour che Lilavatl (a treatise on 
arithmetic), the Bhagvatagita and the Atharvavedd 
were rendered into the language of the Court by Faizi ; 
the history of Kashmir, called Rnjtarangini, written by 
Kalhana, was translated by Maulana Shaikh Muhammad 
Shahabadi; the translation of the Panchatdntra, or 
Kaliladamnah, was also done at this time by N asm 11 ah 
Mustafa and Maulana Husain Waiz. The translation of 
the book last-named being difficult, an easier adapta- 
tion was also made under the name of Ayarddnish. A 
portion of f he Astronomical Tables of Ulugh Beg was 
also translated into Persian under the supervision of 
Amir Fathullah SbJrazI. The Sanskrit works of Kishu 
Josh!, Gangadhar and Mahesh Mahananda were turned 
into Persian under the guidance of Abul Fazl. The 
latter was also responsible for the Persian version of the 
Holy Bible. The Haribansd was also put into Persian. 
The translation of the books mentioned above being 
Illustrated complete, they were profusely embel- 

versions. Hshed with charming illustrations and 

supplied with beautiful bindings. They were then placed 
in the Imperial Library. The elaborately illustrated 
versions of the Mahabh&ratd, now called Razmndmah, 
were given gratis to the nobles of the Court. Among 
the Persian works, the story of Amir Hamzah, Zafar- 
ndmah, Akbarndmah, etc., were also decked with 

The Imperial Court was a 'iterary focus because the 
Muslim Court- Emperor was a prominent patron of 
Scholars. letters. By means of his extensive 


generosity he had drawn around him a galaxy of famous 
scholars, historians, philosophers and poets. The author 
of the A In has given a list of as many as one hundred 
and forty learned men and about sixty poets whom the 
Emperor raised above want, even to affluence. Here is 
a brief account of some of the most brilliant luminaries 
of His Majesty's Court : 

The ablest and the most renowned among the 
literary magnates was Akbar's intimate 
friend and confidential adviser, Abul 
Fazl, the celebrated author of the Ain-i-Akbari and the 
Akbarndmah. He ranks among the greatest Persian 
scholars that India has ever produced. He was a ' man 
of wide culture and pure spiritual ideals '. Dr. Smith 
has compared him with his 'junior contemporary/ 
Francis Bacon, for combining in his person 'the parts of 
scholar, author, courtier and man of affairs '. His 
was a magnatic personality, permeated with an almost 
mesmeric force. The judgment of posterity on his 
penmanship is admirably summed up by the author of 
the Ma'sir-ul-Umara in the following words : 

" The Sheikh (Abul Fazl) had an enchanting 
literary style. He was free from secretarial pomposity 
and epistolary tricks of style ; and the force of his words, 
the collagation of the expressions, the application of 
single words, the beautiful compounds and wonderful 
power of diction, were such as would be hard for 
another to imitate. As he strove to make special use of 
Persian words, it has been said of him that he put into 
prose the qualities of Nizaml." 

The talented Shaikh was indeed the greatest 


writer of the day. His unique literary achievements 
assign him a place splendid in the literary history of 
India. The reason why some of the Westerners have 
failed to appreciate the linguistic beauty of his works is 
to be found in the fact that Persian books, with all 
their captivating style, enchanting metaphors and pure 
vigorous diction, cannot stand the ordeal of translation, 
and as Prof. Blochmann justly remarks, 'a great 
familiarity not only with the Persian language but with 
Abul Fazl's style is required to make the reading of any 
of his works a pleasure '. 

Abul Faiz, known in history as FaizI, the elder 

A . , ~ . brother of Abul Fazl, comes next in 

Abul Faiz. 

order of merit. He was the Imperial 
Librarian and the Persian Poet-Laureate of the India 
of his time. His inquiries into Hindu arts and sciences 
form a most conspicuous part of the literature of that 
age. He translated a number of Sanskrit and Hindi 
books on mathematics and other sciences into Persian. 
Truly, he was an intellectual giant whose literary 
activity was prodigous. He was d great book-lover and, 
like all other bibliophiles, he took immense pleasure in 
the collection of useful books in a library of his own. 
On his death about forty-six thousand ^volumes were 
obtained from his private collection and removed to the 
Imperial Library. 

Shaikh Mubarak, the learned father of Abul Faiz 
Shaikh and Abul Fazl, was a man of no 

Mubarak. ordinary learning. He was well- 

versed in Persian prosody ariJ the art of composing 
riddles. In mystic philosophy he was an adept. He 


was one of the most delightful companions, being full of 
curious anecdotes. " I have known ", says Badaoni, his 
enemy, " no man of more comprehensive learning tfcart 

Khan-i-Khanan Abdur-Rahim, son of Bairam Khan, 

A , , n . was an accomplished scholar in many 

Abdur Rahim. r J 

languages. He was thoroughly con- 
versant with Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Turkish and 
Brij Bhasha. The Kabits and the Dohas of his 
composition in vernacular are simply bewitching and 
display a good deal of originality of thought and style. 
He was an excellent writer of nrose and verse alike. 
He wrote under the pen-name of Rahiml. The best of 
his works was the Persian translation of the Waqiydt-i- 
Bdbari. The Khan was an energetic promoter of 
learning and an eminent patron of letters. The 
Maslr-i-Rahimi records that 'ninety-five literary per- 
sonalities enjoyed his patronage in various ways, and 
many more came to him to become his pupils. 

Masih-ud-DIn Abul Path was another litterateur of 
Abul Path Akbar's Court, about whom both Abul 

Fazl and Badaoni supply us with a 
favourable information. He was considered among the 
best writers bf the day. A rare copy of his Mun&iat 
has been carefully treasured in the library of the 
Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. Urfi, the renowned 
poet of Shiraz, was his encomiast; Faizi composed a 
heart-rending elegy on his death ; and the Emperor 
himself offered a prayer at his tomb not without 
reasons. It is a sufficient proof, if proof is required, of 
his literary genius. 


Over and above those mentioned above, there were 

Other Muslim numerous other gens de lettres at 

Court-Scholars. the Ilpperial Court They were 

Abdul Qadir, Bairam Khan, Pir Muhammad, Amir Mir 
TaqI Sharif I, Maulana Kher-ud-Dm Ruml, Shaikh 
Abun-Nabi Dehlawi, Mirza Muflis, Hafiz Tashqandl 
and Mullah Sadiq Halwi, all endowed with varied 

Akbar, who always appreciated and rewarded merit 

and made no distinction of creed or 
Some Hindu , . , . ,. ^ 

Court-Scholars. colour in choosing his officers, cannot 

be said to have left Hindu men of 
genius unremunerated for their achievements in arts and 
literature. He selected his friends and advisers from 
among both Hindus and Musalmans, and as Smith 
justly remarks, ' with a leaning in favour of the former '. 
His Court exhibited a* greater assemblage of Hindu 
scholars than any other Muslim Monarch in India had 
ever been able to produce. Here is a list of some of 
them : 

With the exception of Sufi Brothers (Abul Fazl 

-, . ., , and Abul Faiz) Rajah Todar Mai 

1 odar Mai. , , f J . 

was the ablest man in the Imperial 

Service. He was unquestionably* the most 'distinguished 
among the Hindus, wielding his pen as well as his 
sword with equal skill. He was a consummate scholar 
of Persian and is credited with the Persian translation 
of the Bhagvatapurdna. Hitherto, the Hindus had not 
evinced any real interest in learning Persian, the 
language of the Court. This * meant their practical 
exclusion from the loaves and fishes of the State 


Service. By means of an extensive and persuasive pro- 
paganda he succeeded in inducing his co-religionists to 
take seriously to the study of the Imperial language. 
The Hindus, accordingly, began to shine in the domain 
of literature and not a few works have come down to 
us the authorship of which is ascribed to them. 

Blr Bal was another learned Hindu attached to 

_ _ , the Imperial Court. His intellectual 

BirBal. r 

gifts, uncommon as they were, soon 

won him a place in the innermost circle of Akbar's 
friends. He was a past-master of witty-sayings and in 
that capacity he is remembered to this day. He was a 
musician, a poet, a conversationalist, a > story-teller and 
a clown, all rolled in one. His Majesty had conferred 
upon him the title of Kabrdi, i.e., Hindu Poet-laure- 
ate. He was a man of extraordinary eloquence and rare 

Other Hindus of literary repute, who were the 
Other Hindu recipients of Imperial favours in the 

Scholars and form of jagirs, mansabs and posts, 

Tulsi Das. were R j ah BKagwfin Das, Rajah 

Man Singh, Rajah Bihar! Mai, Han Nath, etc. 
" But the greatest author of the time," says 
Dr. Smith, " Tulsi Das, the Hindu poet, does not seem 
to have been known to Akbar personally." The 
Ramcharltamanas, or the Hindi Rdmayana, adapted 
from the Sanskrit epic, is an enduring glory in the 
field of Hindi literature. It is regarded as 'the 
great national work of the Hindi-speaking population 
of India '. 


Another distinguished poet of this time was Sur 
Das, the blind bard of Agra. The 
simple and pathetic figure of this 
remarkable poet next continued the line of Hindu poets 
in Muslim India. Devotion to Krishna in its entirety 
is the keynote of his poetry. Be it said to the credit of 
the Emperor whose friendly attitude towards Hindu 
learning afforded a favourable opportunity for the 
development of Hindi literature. Tulsi Das and his 
contemporary, Sur Das, passed their days undisturbed 
under the Mughal Rule, the former in the celestial 
Benares, and the latter in Agra, plying their occupations 
in peace. 

Akbar was endowed with an exquisite aesthetic 

n . . genius, He had developed a strong 

Painting. b . . f , . , , 

artistic taste from his very early days. 

His views on the art of painting are characteristically 
expressed in his own words by Abul Fazl as follows : 

41 There are many that hate painting, but such 
men I do not like. It seems to me that a painter has, 
as it were, peculiar means of recognising God ; for he, 
in painting anything that has life and in devising its 
limbs, one after the other, is ultimately convinced that 
he cannot bestow individuality on his cieation and is 
thus forced to think of God, the giver of life." 

He gave the first definite spur to what came to be 

., . . . . known later on as the Mughal School 
Mughal School . . *- 

of Painting. * Painting. He founded and en- 

dowed a State Gallery under his own 
personal care and control. The celebrated Persian fore- 
runners and inspirers of the new art soon coalesced 


under the influence of the Indian native talent, with the 
result that the Indian Mughal School Proper was born, 
which has continued to our own days. 

As the might and means of the Emperor increased, 
his visions of Imperial palaces began 

Painting ' tO take sha P e and ver y SOOn the need 

was felt to ornament them with 

paintings and pictures of unparalleled splendour. The 
architectural monuments of the Town of Fathpur Slkrl 
were accordingly decked with pictures in which ele- 
gance was wedded to beauty. He encouraged the 
painters with bonuses and increase of their salaries in 
proportion to their progress in their pursuit of painting. 
In the Painting Gallery which he constructed, painters 
assembled from far and near to emulate one another in 
their art so as to become more proficient in it The 
Mughal magnificence is now a thing of the past, but 
the remains of the mural decorations of the Town 
of Victory, among many others, stand as splendid 
memorials of that glorious age. 

Among the most prominent painters, patronized by 
Prominent the Emperor, may be mentioned Mir 

painters. Sayyad AH Tabrez, who illuminated 

the Dastan-i-Amir Hamzah ; Daswant, who could paint 
figures even on walls ; and Barwan, a rival of Daswant 
in his art. Khwajah Abdul Samad and Kesu were other 
famous painters attached to the Imperial Court. The 
victories achieved in the field of this art have been 
strikingly set forth in an exacting passage in the Ain-i- 
Akbarl, which reads as follows : 

11 Most excellent painters are now to be found and 


masterpieces worthy of a Eihzad may be placed at 
the side of the wonderful works of the European 

painters who have attained world- wide fame More 

than hundred painters have become famous masters of 
the art, while the number of those who reach perfection, 
or of those who are mediocre, is very great. This is 
particularly true of the Hindus, their pictures surpass 
our conception of things," 

The art of music reached the summit of its splen- 

. A f dour under the Imperial patronage. It 

Art of music. . r r o 

received considerable encouragement 
from the Emperor, who himself was highly accomplish- 
ed in this art and had an adequate knowledge of its 
technicalities. " His Majesty," says Abul Fazl, " pays 
much attention to music and patronizes those who 
practise this art." Hearing of his bounty, numerous 
musicians hailed from Persia, Turan, Kashmir and other 
places to the Mughal Court. They belonged to both the 
sexes. Some of them were Subhan Khan, Sarud Khan, 
Sri GiSn Khan, Mian Chand, Mian Lai, Daud Dhari, 
Muhammad Khan Dhgri, Mullah Is'haq Dhari, Nanak 
Jarju, Bites Khan, Tantarang Khan, Rang Sen, Rahmat- 
ullah and Pir Zadah all experts in this art. But the 
most skilled and proficient of them all was Mian Tansen, 
the matchless musical gem of Akbar's Court and the 
greatest musician that India has ever produced. By the 
bewitching sweetness of his voice he is said (metaphori- 
cally speaking) to have set the Jumna on fire. His 
tomb in Gwalior has become a place of pilgrimage for 
the later-day musicians of India. Besides Tansen, there 
flourished in his time two other famous singers, Ram 


Das and Hari Das, the bi:lbuls ot the Mughal Darbar. 
Instrumentation of a very high kind and bewilder- 
ing variety has been a most disting- 

uishin g feature of Indian music ' The 
principal musical instruments were : 

6tn, flute, ghlchakj karana, qabuz, sarmandal, surna, 
tamburah, rabab, and qdnun. The best instrumental 
performers were: Shaikh Dawan Dhari, Shihab Khan. 
Purbin Khan, Ustad Dost of Meshed, Mir Sayyad AH of 
Meshed, Bahram Quli of Gujarat, TSsh Beg of Kipchak, 
Bir Mandal Khan of Gwalior, Ustad Yusaf of Herat, 
Sultan Hashim of Meshed, Ustad Muhammad Husain, 
Ustad Muhammad Amin, Ustad Shah Muhammad, Mir 
Abdullah and Qasim. As to the use to which the 
instruments were put, nothing can be definitely said, but 
their high and complex kind certainly points to a 
developed state of music. It is just possible that some 
of them were invented in this very reign, e.g., Qasim is 
reputed to have invented an instrument intermediate 
between rabdb and qabuz. The vocal music with its 
divers rags and ragnls, some of which are now out of 
fashion and many of which have long been forgotten 
for want of cultivation, were popular in those days ; 
whereas instrumental music was equally indulged in. 
The Darbarl music, which became so popular after- 
wards, was introduced at this time. 

The Indian music, like other fine arts, proved a 

Hindu-Muslim new channel of intercourse between 

social intercourse the Hindus and the Musalmans. 

through music. , - ^. , 

The process of co-operation and 

intermutation was not a new thing in the time of 


Akbar. It had begun centuries before. In the domain 
of music it became distinctly perceptible how the two 
communities were borrowing from each other the 
precious stores they possessed in this art, and thereby 
enriched each other. Khiyal, for example, which was 
invented by Sultan Husain Shah Sharqi of Jaunpur, has 
become an important limb of Hindu music. Dhrupad, 
on the other hand, has engrafted itself on Muslim 

Calligraphy as a separate branch of the fine arts had 

- . , been cultivated by the Musalmans in 

Calligraphy. . / . 

India ever since their advent in this 
country. Akbar encouraged the art of fine writing, 
particularly the ' nastallq ' hand, the obvious reason 
being the fact that before the invention of the printing 
press and its introduction into India, clear, legible, and 
beautiful hand was an absolute necessity. It is idle to 
linger long over this art as it has long ceased to be recog- 
nised as a fine art. It is equally futile to enter into its 
various forms. Suffice it to say that it received its due 
share of encouragement from the Emperor. 

Akbar loved buildings and, like a cultured prince, 

A . A he possessed a unique taste for 

Architecture. ; . ,1 

architecture. His Majesty, says 

Abul Fazl, " plans splendid edifices and dresses the works 
of his mind and heart in the garment of stone 
and clay." Smith informs us that this imposing phrase 
is not merely a courtly complement that the historian is 
paying here. It is sober truth and is endorsed by Fergus- 
son, who describes Fathpur Slkri as ' a reflex of the great 
mind of the man who built it.' Even architecture speaks 


for Akbar's statesmanship, aiming at Hindu-Muslim Unity. 
His buildings were characterised by a happy blending cf 
Hindu-Muslim styles. They combined both Hindu 
and Muslim features, of which sometimes the one and 
sometimes the other predominated. The style of 
architecture, if there was any, was eclectic. The existing 
monuments of his execution are fewer than might 
be expected, the reason being the fact that several 
of his superb edifices were subsequently pulled down by 
his grandson, Shah Jahan, whose canons of tastes 
differed from those of his grandfather. The best that 
have survived are : the tomb of Ilumayun, the most 
Persian in style and renowned for the simplicity and 
purity of its design ; the magnificent Masjid with 
its classic Buland Darwaza or the Lofty Portal, 
in appearance " noble beyond that of any portal attached 
to any mosque in India, perhaps in the whole world " ; 
the Jahangm Mahal at the Agra Fort ; the Tomb 
of Shaikh Salim Chishtl ; the handsome mosque erected 
at Fathpur Sikri ; the Palace of Jodhabai ; the Central 
Hall of Akbar's original Palace ; the Liwdn, or Service- 
portion of the Great Mosque at the Town of Victory ; 
the beautiful Masjid built at Mirths in RajputanS ; the 
Tomb of Saint Muhammad Gbaus at Gwalior ; the 
Sati-burj, immortalizing the self-immolation of a wife of 
Rajah Bihar! Mai ; the Hall of Forty Pillars at Allahabad ; 
the House of Bir Bal ; the four temples of Gobind Dev, 
Madan Mohan, Gopi Nath and Jugal Kishor, doing 
honour to the deified KrighnS ; and above all, his own 
tomb at SikandarS, ' quite unlike any other tomb built in 
India either before or since/ are considered as the 


moist admirable specimens of the architecture of that 

Most of the monuments enumerated above had 

_ , beautiful gardens within their premises. 

Gardens. , ^ _ 

The gardens at the town of Fathpur 

Sikri and those at Sikandara and the Naslm Bagh at 
Kashmir may be mentioned among those fortunate places 
on which the popular remark, ' if there is a paradise on 
earth, it is here, it is here/ has repeatedly been passed. 

Thus flits the pageant of a reign, the panorama 

of Akbar, his achievements in the arts 
Estimate r n r j u- 

of Akbar. * war as well as of peace and his 

contributions to the cause of Indian 

culture and civilization. His was a systematic and 

deliberate policy of promoting literature, architecture, 

painting, music, dancing, calligraphy, poetry and other 

fine arts, which made considerable progress under 

his patronage. What gave a tremendous impetus to 

these fine arts was his catholicity of mind which, soaring 

above the snares of sectarian psychology, appreciated 

and encouraged true worth without making invidious 

distinctions. The widespread diffusion of education, the 

extensive promotion of fine arts, the maintenance of 

perfect religious freedom and liberty of conscience, the 

abolition of the hated Jizia and other obnoxious taxes, 

the prohibition of Sail and female infanticide, the 

encouragement of widow-remarriage, the extinction of 

the evil practice of enslaving the prisoners of war 

and that of trial by ordeal, the introduction of an 

elaborate system of land revenue, and above all, the 

restoration of law and order and the establishment of 


peace and prosperity throuchout tlie length and breadth 
of the Mughal Empire by the introduction of such wise 
innovations as issued not from a Parliament, a Cortes 
or a States-General, but from the head of one man 
whose era was that of Queen Elizabeth, Philip II and 
Louis XIV, whose age was that of religious intolerance, 
rigid Inquisition and ruthless persecution, and whose 
evironments were those of malice, tyranny and oppres- 
sion are the index of a genius unsurpassed in the 
annals of the world. From whatever side we approach 
him, whether as a man, a soldier and a statesman, or 
as a philosopher, a military commander and a political 
administrator ; or as a reformer, a legislator and a peace- 
maker, the conviction is forced home on us that he was 
really one of those few inspired personalities of bupreme 
powers and singular endowments who have, as it were, 
revealed the future to their present age. In view of his 
contributions to the wisdom of the world and the 
science of humanity, he has been called the 'guardian 
of mankind '. As a protector of Hindu learning, as a 
promoter of Hindu civilization, as a patron of Hindu 
genius and, above all, as a social reformer of Hinduism, 
the Hindus have recognised him a hero after their own 



(16051628 A.C.) 
Having put down all political intrigues, Salim 

ascended the throne of his father at 
Accession of Agra on the 24th day of October, 

Agra; 1606. 1605 A.C. under the proud title of 

Jahangir, or ' World Grasper '. At 
that time he was thirty-six years old. His addiction to 
wine and indulgence in luxuries afforded little prospect 
of a happy reign ; but his natural abilities, combined 
with his liberal education and strong common-sense, 
amply qualified him to carry on the administration of 
the Mughal Empire to the entire satisfaction of his 
subjects. In order to secure the sympathies of his 
co-religionists, he promised to protect the Muslim 
religion ; to alleviate the suspicions and fears of his 
father's faithful friends and trusty officers, he confirmsd 
them in their appointments ; and to gain the goodwill 
of his Hindu subjects, he extended his pardon to men 
like Rajah Man Singh, who had espoused the cause of 
Prince Khusrau, He abolished a number of obnoxious 
taxes, granted a general amnesty and instituted a gold 
chain, connected with a cluster of bells, in his chamber 
in order to receive the petitions of aggrieved persons 
with a view to redress their grievances. The chain of 
justice might not have been frequently pulled by the 
importunate suppliants, but the Emperor's interest in the 


dissemination of justice is sufficiently borne out by it. 
These acts were accompanied by twelve ordinances, 

. - , . popularly called the rules of conduct, 
Dastur-ul-Amal. ,/ J , , ^ , . , , ^ 

(dastur-ul-d mdl), which the Emperor 

ordered to be strictly observed by his officers throughout 
his extensive empire. According to them (1) Jahangir 
forbade the levy of several customs and transit duties of 
vexatious nature and of the oppressive tolls and cesses 
which the landlords of every province had imposed for 
their own benefit and increased at their own sweet will. 
(2) He ordered the Jdglrddrs to encourage in every 
possible way a residential population along solitary 
roads by erecting rest-houses, mosques rnd wells, and 
providing other facilities for the purpose. (3) He 
strictly prohibited the bales of merchandise to be opened 
during the transit without the consent of their owners. 
(4) He abolished the existing practice whereby the pro- 
perty of the deceased was appropriated by the State and 
ordered that henceforth it should go to the rightful 
heirs. If anyone died without heir, his property was 
used for the repair and reconstruction of mosques and 
madrasahs. (5) He forbade the manufacture, sale and 
consumption of such spirits and intoxicants as opium 
and wine throughout the kingdom. (6) He prevented 
his officers and Jdgirddrs from misappropriating the lands 
of the ryots and cultivating them on their own account. 
(7) He ordered the construction of State hospitals in all 
the cities of the Mughal Empire ; a number of Govern- 
ment dispensaries werp established and provided with 
paid physicians. (8) He prohibited billeting ; henceforth 
soldiers were not to be stationed in private houses. 


(9) He abolished the barbarous punishments of mutila- 
tion by which the limbs of offenders were amputated 
and their eyes were put out. (10) For a certain number 
of days in the year he forbade the slaughter of certain 
animals. (11) He put a ban on inter-marriage by 
ordering that officers of the same pargana should not 
marry within their own pargana. (12) By a regular 
firman he forbade, on pain of capital punishment, the 
horrid practice of making and selling eunuchs, 
which was prevalent at Sylhet in Bengal. Finally, he 
confirmed the jaglrs and offices of his father's faithful 
servants and increased them by 20 per cent and in 
certain cases b*> 300 and 400 per cent. 

Having secured his succession and planted his 

_. Ar popularity in the hearts and the minds 

First Nauroz. f , . . 

of his subjects, Hindus as well as 

Muslims, Jahangir celebrated the first Nauroz of his reign 
with great pomp and show amidst ecstatic rejoicings at 
Agra in the month of March, 1606 A.C. The festivities 
lasted for over a fortnight and were finally crowned with 
a lavish bestowal of gifts and presents on the grandees 
of the Empire by tne Emperor. * 

It will be recalled that in 1605 A.C. a party ot 

, _ nobles, consisting of Rajah Ram Das, 

Khusraus Revolt. ... * J T ., . 

Murtaza Khan, Sayyad KjQan, Qulich 

Muhammad and Mirza Aziz Koka, and headed by Rajah 
Man Singh, had intrigued against the accession of Sallm 
in favour of his son, Khusrau, but had failed. Though 
the father and the son were reconciled after the death of 
Akbar, there was no love lost between them. The former 
thought that he was irreparably wronged by his son 


the latter's fiery spirit and impetuous youth would not 
allow him to rest on his* oars. He could not forget 
that he had once contested the claims of his father. 
Moreover, his engaging manners and attractive carriage 
had made him extremely popular and the cynosure of 
not a few officers of importance. As a nephew of 
Rajah Man Singh and the son-in-law of Mirza Aziz 
Koka, as a son of the Emperor, and ' the amor et 
delicice of the people,' he was the centre of sedition and 
the pivot of political intrigue. Actuated by ambition, 
or driven by despair, or goaded by both, he escaped 
from Agra in 1606 A.C. and marched towards Lahore 
at the head of as many as three hundred and fifty 
horsemen, gathering strength on his way. At Mathura 

he was joined by not less than three thousand horsemen 

< *k 

under their leader, Husain Beg Badakhshani. At 
Panlpat he was joined by the Diwdn of Lahore, name- 
ly, Abdur Rahim, who was on his way towards Agra. 
At Taran Taran he received the good wishes of Guru 
Arjan, the editor of the Granth Sahib, and also some 
pecuniary help. At Lahore he encountered a serious 
opposition. When Dilawar Khan,, the governor of 
juahore, refused to open the gates of the city, he laid 
siege to the city and burnt one of its gates. Dilawar 
was reinforced by Said Khan and the siege lasted for a 
week. After that, when the Prince learnt of the arrival 
of his father, he fled towards the North-West in order 
to stir up opposition in that quarter. His flight was a 
serious matter for the Emperor who feared the Uzbegs 
and the Persians there. Negotiations having failed, the 
father and the son came to grips at the battle of 


Bahjowal. The rebels were routed and put to flight, 
and the Prince had a narrow escape. His jewellery-box 
and other valuable things formed a considerable part of 
the booty obtained. After a hot pursuit, the imperial- 
ists succeeded in capturing and producing him 
before the Emperor hand-cuffed and chained heavily. 
The eyes of the royal captive were sewn, and he was 
thrown in prison. His accomplices were ruthlessly 

Guru Arjan, who had helped Khusrau in his dire 

distress, was called to the Imperial 
Execution of ^ . , i u- j j. TT- 

Guru Arjan. Court to explain his conduct. His 

property was confiscated and he was 
fined at the instigation of Chandu Shah, whom he had 
annoyed by refusing to marry his son to his daughter. 
The Guru declined to pay a single cowrl and was at 
last executed for his ' suspicious proceedings '. It must 
be remembered that his execution was not the outcome 
of religious bigtory but was due to political reasons. 
Dr. Beni Prasad has justly stated that the Guru would 
have ended his days in peace, if he had not espoused 
the cause of a rebel. But the murder was a mistake 
of the first magnitude. It stirred up the Sikhs against 
the Mughal Empire and had no mean share in mould- 
ing the subsequent history of the Punjab. 

Qandhar was conquered by Akbar in 1595 A.C. 
Its loss was deeply resented by the 
Persians. Under their King, Shah 
Abbas, who was one of the greatest 
Asiatic rulers of his time, they made an attempt to 


recover it, but failed, because it was ably defended by 
Shah Beg Khan, When force failed, diplomacy was 
resorted to. In order to gam his end, the ShSh made 
overtures and exchanged sugar-coated compliments with 
the Mughal Emperor, who was thrown off his guard; 
and as a necessary sequel, the defences of Qandhar 
were neglected. In 1622 A. C. the Shah again attacked 
Qandhar and took possession of it without encountering 
opposition. Jahangir ordered his son, Khurram, to 
accompany the expedition against that far off province. 
The Prince thought that hi? absence would ensure his 
exclusion from the throne and therefore refused to obey 
the Imperial orders. His refusal was fully availed of 
by Niir Jahan who wished to secure the succession for 
her son-in-law, Shahryar, the rival and opponent of the 
Prince. She poisoned the ears of her husband against 
him and convinced him that his son meditated treason. 
The Emperor at once issued an order to the effect that 
the Prince should send back to the Capital all the 
forces he had with him in the Deccan. Khurram hesi- 
tated and again Niir Jahan found a chance to inflame 
her husband's mind against him. iTiis time she suc- 
ceeded in securing for Shahryar the fief of Dholpur which 
Khurram had long desired to obtain. She also persuaded 
her husband to promote her son-in-law to the mansab 
of twelve thousand Zdt and eight thousand Sawdr, and 
to put him at the head of the campaign against Qandhar. 
All these circumstances combined to horrify the Prince 
who now found safety in submitting to the will of his 
father. He tried to allay the anger of the Emperor by 
making apologies for his past conduct, but the backstair 


intrigues of Nur Jahan drove him to break into open 
rebellion. As a result, Qandhar was lost and no attempt 
was made to recover it. 

The crowning exploit of the reign of Jahangir was 

^ indeed the conquest of Kangra in the 

Conquest ^ b 

of Kangra. Punjab, which commanded an excel- 

lent situation and enjoyed a wide 
reputation as an important centre of Hindu worship. 
Murtaza Khan, who was in charge of the Punjab, was 
entrusted with the reduction of Kangra ; but owing to the 
opposition of the Rajputs, he could not make headway 
against the liill-chie's in possession of the strongholds 
that surrounded the famous fortress of Kangra. After 
Murtaza's death, which took place a little later, Prince 
Khurrani was appointed to the command of the Kangra 
campaign. The hill-chiefs of the surrounding strong- 
holds were defeated and the formidable fortress inside 
was besieged. The supplies of the beleaguered garrison 
were cut off, so much so that they were compelled to 
feed themselves on boiled dry grass. After a protracted 
siege, which lasted for over a year, the inmates of the 
garrison were reduced to such straits that they found 
safety in submission. The conquest of Kangra wab 
accomplished in November, 1620 A. C. 

In Mewar, the Premier State of Rajputana, the 
heroic Rana Pratab was succeeded 

Subjugation v u- A O-U^TTJ- 

of Mewar. by his son, Amar Singh, at Udaipur 

in the year 1597 A. C. The new 
Rana was as patriotic as his father. While he would not 
submit to the Muslim yoke, Jahangir could not tolerate 
the existence of an independent and rather hostile State 


on the border of his empire. Reruming the ambitious 
policy of his predecessor, he ordered an attack on the 
principality, putting his son, Prince Parvez, in com- 
mand of the Mughal army and providing him with 
ample war material. The Rajputs offered a stout 
resistance, and after an indecisive battle a truce was 
concluded , between the belligerents. After a lull of 
about two years war was again declared against Mewar. 
This time the supreme command was entrusted to 
Mahabat Khan who defeated the Rajputs but failed to 
accomplish anything substantial owing to the moun- 
tainous nature of the country. The ill-success of the 
Mewar campaign was due, to a considerable extent, to the 
frequent changes in the command of the Imperial army 
also. In 1614 A.C. Prince Khurram received oHers to 
lead an expedition against Mewar. He opened the 
campaign with renewed energy and fresh vigour. Aided 
by able military officers, he established strong military 
posts round Mewar and cut off the supplies of the Rana 
in order to starve the State into submission. His 
military tactics took the Rajputs by surprise and reduced 
the Rana to such a state that he expressed his desire to 
put an end to the war in which victories were as costly 
as defeats. Negotiations were opened for peace. The Rana 
agreed to acknowledge the overlordship of the Mughal 
Emperor and sent his son, Prince Karan, to the Mughal 
Capital to wait upon the Emperor. He also agreed to 
contribute a contingent of one thousand horse to the 
Mughal army. In return for this, the fortress of Chittor 
was restored to the Rana and his son was enrolled as a 
commander of five thousand. He was not forced to 


enter, into a matrimonial alliance with the Emperor ; 
rather, he was exempted from personal attendance at the 
Mughal Court on account of his old age. Not only 
this, the Emperor treated him in a most chivalrous 
manner. In order to remove the humiliation of defeat 
and to do special honour to his vanquished foe, he 
caused two full-sized portraits of the Rana and his son 
to be carved in marble and set up in a garden at Agra 
below the Jarukhd (audience window). " Jahangir's 
conduct in this affair," observes Dr. Ishwari Prasad, " is 
wholly worthy of praise. Mewar had given the Mughals 
no small amount of trouble, but the emperor forgot the 
past and adopted a conciliatory policy in dealing with 
the R&na. " By such acts of chivalry, Jahangir 
honoured his antagonists as well as himself. In appre- 
ciation of his success against Mewar, Prince Khurram 
was honoured with the appellation of h.ah Khurram 
and a mansab of thirty thousand. Quite in consistence 
with the condescension of his father, the Prince received 
the son of the Rana with all respect and treated him 
with marked generosity. He bestowed upon him * a 
superb dress of honour, a jewelled sword and dagger, 
and a horse with a gold saddle and a special elephant '. 
It will be remembered that Akbar had conquered 

Ahmadnagar, Berar and KhSndesh. 

Deccan campaign. 

His ambition was to advance further 

South, but immediately after the capture of Asirgarh, 
he was obliged to go back to the North, where his son, 
Salim, had rebelled against him. His absence from the 
Deccan adversely affected the Mughal position there. 
The imperialists failed to follow their successes with 


vigour. When Jahanglr came to t>"e throne, he resumed 
the forward policy of his father against the Deccan. 
Ahmadnagar was first to be attacked ; but in Malik 
Ambar the imperialists found a tough foe and a military 
leader of the first water, one whom it was not easy to 

A word might be said here about the abilities of 

_ , , A Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian minister 

Malik Ambar. .,- j 

and military commander of the 

Nizamshahl Kingdom of Ahmadnagar. Age and ex- 
perience had enabled him to acquire a deep insight into 
matters of importance, civil as well as military His 
activities embraced almost every department of adminis- 
tration. He was a great financier. His multifarious 
reforms have earned him fame that cannot be tarnished. 
His most remarkable achievement was the re-organiza- 
tion of the revenue system in his master's kingdom. It 
was modelled after that of Akbar the Great. His 
political acumen and sagacious statesmanship have 
elicited admiration e TT en from his enemies. But he was 
no mere administrator. He was also endowed with a 
rr ; !itary genius of a rare order. He enlisted the 
Marhattas in the army and organized them into a 
fighting force. He trained them in the guerilla mode 
of fighting and revolutionized the entire military system 
of the State by introducing reforms where necessary. 
No wonder, therefore, if he succeeded in retrieving the 
fallen fortunes of the Nizamshahl dynasty of Ahmad- 
nagar. He was speedily recovering the lost territory 
of his king when JahangTr ordered an expedition 
against him. 


- Khan-i-Khanan /bdur Rahim was entrusted with 

the supreme command of the Imperial 
Ahmadnagar. __ 

army. He was totally defeated by 

Malik Ambar owing to the rebellion of Prince Khusrau. 
Jahangir replaced him by Khan Jahan Lodhi, who 
assumed the offensive with fresh vigour in 1611 A. C. 
A combined attack was to be delivered on Ahmad- 
nagar : Prince Parvez and Khan Jahan were to march 
from Khandesh, and Abdullah, the governor of Gujarat, 
was to proceed from his own province. The plan 
matured a little too soon ; for the latter advanced before 
the fixed time and vvas defeated by Malik Ambar. The 
imperialists were compelled to beat a disgraceful retreat. 
Abdur Rahim, who had been recalled from the scene 
of operations, was reappointed to the command. The 
veteran Khan forgot the past and earnestly undertook 
to retrieve the prestige of the Mughal arms in the 
Deccan. He defeated the enemy in a hotly contested 
battle, but again he was ordered to withdraw ; for not- 
withstanding his brilliant success, he was accused by 
his enemy of having accepted the Deccani gold in bribe. 
In 1617 A.C. Jahangir detailed another army under 
the command of Prince Khurram who had become 
Shah Khurram after his success in the Mewar campaign. 
Assisted by able imperial generals, he compelled All 
'Adil Shah to accept the terms of peace dictated by 
the Emperor The Shah waited in person upon the 
Prince and offered him presents of the value of fifteen 
lakhs and promised to cede all the territory which 
Malik Ambar had seized from the Mughal Empire, 
The Mughal Emperor bestowed upon him the title of 


Farzand (son) and treated him with great love. The 
services of Prince Khurram were duly appreciated and 
the title of Shah Jahdn was conferred upon him. To 
do him special honour, Jahangir poured over his head a 
small tray of jewels and a tray of gold (coins) from the 
Jhartikha. The Empress held a special feast in his 
honour and showered upon him some valuable presents. 
Other officers were, likewise, rewarded without stint for 
their services. 'Behind all these profuse gifts and 
rewards,' to quote Dr. Ishwari Prasad, ' lay the hard 
fact, that the Deccan was not conquered, and that the 
spirit of Malik Ambar was as unbroken as ever.' 
The campaign terminated in 1629 A. C. after the death 
of Jahangir and Ahmadnagar was lost to the Mughal 

After his revolt, Prince Khusrau had been thrown 

_ , into prison. Not long afterwards he 

Subsequent career . . f 

of Prince Khusrau. succeeded in winning the hearts of his 

captors and organizing a plot against 
his father. The plot miscarried. The Prince was 
blinded and his accomplices were ^arrested. Of the 
tatter, only four were executed. With the lapse of time, 
the memory of his rebellion wore off and the fatherly 
affection having again revived, the eyesight of the 
Prince was partially restored through the skill of an 
efficient physician, and he was permitted to pay his 
respects to his father every day. He was regarded as 
the heir-apparent and the future sovereign of Hindustan. 
Shah Jahan resented this very bitterly. But he had neither 
the power to dissuade his father from his intentions, nor 


the attractiveness to dislodge his brother from the place 
he had found in the hearts of the people. Nur Jahan, who 
wished to push the claims of her son-in-law, Shahryar, 
hated Khusrau from the very nature of the case. She 
succeeded in supplanting her husband's affection for his 
own son with hatred, and Khusrau was forbidden to pay 
his respects on the pretext that he ' showed no signs of 
openness and happiness and he was always mournful 
and dejected in mind '. In 1616 A.C. he was made 
over to the custody of his most relentless enemy, Asaf 
Khan, and in 1620 A.C. he was transferred to his hostile 
brother, Shah Jahan, who had him murdered in 1622 
A.C. at Burhtinpur, giving out, however, that he had 
died of colic pain (Qulanj). He was accorded a second 
burial when his father, Jahanglr, relented and felt 
compassion for him. His remains were removed to 
Allahabad and interred in a garden, since known as 
Khusrau Bagh. 

Khusrau was indeed one of the most captivating 

. , figures of the present reign. Terry's 

His character. r J 

tribute to his character is well- 
deserved. Says he : ' For that prince, he was a 
gentleman of a very lovely presence and fine carriage, 
so exceedingly beloved of the common people that as 
Saetonius writes of Titus, he was amor et delicice, etc., 
the very love and delight of them, aged then about 
thirty-five years. He was a man who contented him- 
self with one wife who with all love and care accom- 
panied him in all his straits, and therefore he would 
never take any wife but herself, though the liberty of 
his religion did admit of his plurality.' 


Usman, who had rebelled in 1599 A. C. in the 
Rebellion of reign of Akbar in the remotely removed 

P rovince of ^g* 1 but had b ^n 
suppressed by Rajah Man Singh, 
owed outward allegiance to the Mughal Emperor, 
but secretly cherished the desire of reviving the 
Afghan rule in India. He harboured bitter hostilities 
against the Mughal Empire and aimed to destroy it root 
and branch. He rallied round himself the rebellious 
Afghans and Zamlndars of Bengal. The rapid 
change of governors in that province enabled him 
to fortify his position without fear. In 1612 A. C. 
again he made an attempt to overthrow the Mughal 
dynasty. In the engagement that was fought, the 
Mughals were victorious over the Afghans. Usman was 
fatally wounded, but ' so great was his composure that 
even in this condition he continued to direct the 
movements of his men for six hours ', On being 
defeated, the enemy retired to their entrenchments 
where their gallant leader died of exhaustion, leaving 
them in a state of confusion. This was the last Afghan 
rising against the Mughal Rule. Jahangir was so much 
pleased with Islam Khan, the governor of Bengal, and 
his officers who had suppressed it that he raised their 
ranks and rewarded their services without stint. He 
treated the Afghans with kindness and conciliation. 
They were taken in the service of the State without 
restrictions. As a result of this policy, the Afghans 
were completely won over and the security of the 
Mughal throne was ensured. 


The Memoirs of Jahang^r and the Iqbdlnamah 

Outbreak of the concur in recording that the bubonic 
bubonic plague. p j ague broke Qut j n India for the firgt 

time in 1616 A. C. As usual, the epidemic first affected 
the rats and mice and then the people. It began in 
the Punjab and soon spread over almost the whole of 
Northern India. Its * ravages were so great ', says a 
contemporary chronicler, ' that in one house ten or 
twenty persons would die, and their surviving neighbours, 
annoyed by the stench, would be compelled to desert 
their houses full of habitations. Mortality was extremely 
heavy in Lahore and Kashmir. The disease broke out 
again in Agra and took away a large number of the 

The most romantic event of the reign of Jahanglr 

was his marriage with Mehr-un-Nisa, 

the most beautiful daughter of Mirza 

Qbiyas Beg, a native of Tehran. Almost every Indian 

student is acquainted with the story of her birth, 

marriage and character. Her father, Mirza Ghiyas, was 

reduced to such straits that he proposed to leave his 

native-land for good and to try his luck elsewhere. 

Accordingly, he set out towards India in search of 

employment. When he reached Qandhar, his wife, who 

was then in a state of expectancy, was delivered of a 

daughter, who was destined to be the empress of India. 

Qbiyas was so poor that he could not take care of the 

newly-born baby and her mother. Luckily, a certain 

kind-hearted merchant, named Malik Masaud, under 

whose protection he was travelling towards India, felt 

compassion for the woe- begone family and offered his 


assistance, but for which Ghiyas, v horn fate had fouied 
so much, would have found his lot intolerable. The 
merchant commanded some influence at the Mughal 
Court. He introduced him to Akbar who at once took 
him into his service. By sheer force of character and 
capacity, Gbiyas soon made his mark in the service of 
his master, who raised him to the rank of three hundred 
in appreciation of his excellent work. Little Mehr-un- 
Nisa and her mother were allowed access to the 
Imperial Harem where they were shown great favours 
by the Royal household. 

When Mehr-un-Nisa attained the age of seventeen, 

she was married to All Quli Istajlu, 
Mehr-un-Nisa j <-t A t * *r*- 

married to Ali surnamed Sher Afgan, or Tiger 

SherAf a an r Thrower'. Originally a Saj^rchl 
~ (table servant) of Shah Ismail II of 

Persia, AH Quli had distinguished himself in the service 
of Emperor Akbar. He was appointed to the staff of 
Prince Salim when the latter was ordered to march 
against Mewar. He acquitted himself so admirably that 
the Prince was pleased to reward him for his courage 
and cleverness, and bestowed upon him the title of Sfaer 
Afgan for slaying a tiger. When the Prince broke into 
rebellion against his father, he was deserted by many of 
his followers, and Sher Afgan was one of them. After 
his accession, however, Jahangir extended him his 
pardon and placed him in charge of the government of 
Burdwan in Bengal. 

When reports came from Bengal, the most troublous 
Murder of Sher province, that Sher Afgan was 
Afgan * ' insubordinate and disposed to be 


rebellious/ Jahanglr summoned him to his Court to 
explain his conduct. On refusal to obey the Imperial 
firmans, Qutb-ud-Din Koka, the governor of that 
province, was commanded to send the refractory officer 
to the Capital. Qutb-ud-DIn made a foolish attempt to 
arrest him. Finding a large number of men surrounding 
him, Sher Afgan portended treachery. In a fit of rage 
he exclaimed ' what proceeding is this of thine ? ' 
addressing the governor and his retainers. As soon as 
the governor approached him to convey the Imperial 
message, he attacked him with his sword and inflicted 
serious injuries on his person. This unexpected incident 
enraged the retainers who fell upon Sher Afgan and cut 
him to pieces. After the murder of her husband, Mehr- 
un-N ; *a and her little daughter were sent to the 
Imperial Harem where they were entrusted to the 
custody of Sallma Sultana, the do wager- queen. In 
May, 1611 A. C. Jahangir married her. 

Sher Afgan's death was purely incidental and 
Jahangir had nothing to do with it. 

Was Sher Afgan's The report from Bengal that he was 

murder premedi- < . , 

tated and whether insubordinate and disposed to be 

hand n fn if? d " rebellious ; ' the Imperial firmans, sum- 
moning him to the Court to explain his 
conduct; his refusal to obey the Imperial commands; 
the appointment of Qutb-ud-DIn Koka, the governor of 
Bengal, to bring the rebel to book if he ' showed any 
futile, seditious ideas ' ; the foolish attempt of the 
governor to arrest him without ascertaining his offence ; 
Sher Afgan's apprehension of treachery and his attack 
on the governor in self-defence all these are important 


links in the chain of the crsis whrh culminated in the 
murder of 3her Afgan. They cumulatively contribute 
to the theory of Jahanglr's innocence. What subsequently 
gave rise to the story that the murder was manipulated 
by Jahanglr, or that he had a hand in it, was that soon 
after the occurrence Imperial orders were issued to 
remove Mehr-un-Nisa to the Royal Harem, where she 
was entrusted to the custody of Sallma Sultana and 
then married to the Emperor. But this does not 
militate against the theory of innocence. It does not 
show that the death of Sher Afgan was brought about 
by Jahangir, It only gives birth to a suspicion that 
the Emperor was in love with the kdy, but the 
suspicion does not stand in the face of other facts and 
vanishes like a phantom. De Laet, the Dutch witer, 
says that Jahanglr had been in love with her when 
she was still a maiden. ' If this were true ' says 
Dr. Ishwari Prasad, 4 the motive for the murder is 
clear/ Granted that Mehr-un-Nisa's beauty had attracted 
the attention of Jahangir during his father's lifetime and 
that he had been madly in love with her ; granted also 
that the murder was premeditated, now was it that 
after her betrothal to Sher Afgan when the latter was 
appointed to the staff of Salim (Jahangir) in the Me war 
campaign, the Prince treated him so kindly and 
conferred upon him the title of Sfaer Afgan in 
appreciation of his courage ? why was it that Jahanglr, 
at his accession, did not punish him for his desertion 
when the Prince Jahangir had rebelled against his 
father, but extended him his pardon and even placed 
him in charge of Burdwan in BeogSl ? why was it that 


Jahangir, an impetuous lover as he was, waited for such 
a long time when the object of his desire was well 
within his reach ? To be sure, if Jahangir had wished 
to remove Sber Afgan from his way to Mehr-un-Nisa, 
he could have found one hundred and one pretexts and 
achieved his object long before and would not have 
waited for such a long time. As apart from this, there 
is no clue to this story (that Sher Afgan was murdered 
at the instigation of Jahangir) in the accounts of 
contemporary chroniclers, nor is there any corroborative 
evidence of European travellers who were too prone to 
seize upon the scandals relating to the Royal family 
and raking th^m to the utmost. The so-called ' positive 
assertions of later historians ' are based on a mere 
ephemeral suspicion and cannot be relied upon. 

Four years after the murder of Sher Afgan, 

Jahangir marries Jahangir saw Mehr-un-Nisa and fell 
Mehr-un-Nisa. jn j ove wjth her He married her j n 

the month of May, 1611 A. C. Faithful to her former 
husband, Nisa was equally faithful to her new husband, 
who loved her so much that sometimes he would call 
her Ntir Mahal, ' the Light of the Palace ' and sometimes 
Nfir Jahdn, ' the Light of the World '. Thus, Mehr-un- 
Nisa, the baby who was born in the most adverse 
circumstances, the lady who had lived with her husband, 
Sher Afgan, for sixteen years, and the widow who had 
wept in chaste seclusion for four years, emerged as the 
Empress Nur Jahan, the most beloved wife of Emperor 
Jahangir. In token of his love for her, Jahangir put her 
name on the coinage along with his own a unique 
circumstance in the history of Muslim money. 


Nur Jahan was endowed with all that is noble in 
Nurjahan's the nobler sex. She was a highly 

accomplishments. cuUured ; ady> we ll. V ersed in Arabic 

and Persian literature. She was a good poetess. One 
of her charms with which she captivated Jahangir was 
her facility in composing extempore verses. Under her 
edifying influence the Mughal Court became famous 
for its noon-day splendour. 'She set the fashions of 
the age, designed new varieties of silk and cotton 
fabrics, and suggested new models of jewellery, hitherto 
unknown in Hindustan/ She invented the attar of 
roses for which she is remembered to the present day. 
Her physical feats were on a par with her personal 

charms and intellectual endowments. 
Her valour. 

She was very tond ot outdoor Barnes. 

She used to accompany her husband on his hunting 
excursions and often shot down ferocious tigers. On 
one occasion Jahangir was so impressed by her 
feat of valour that he presented her a pair of 
precious bracelets of diamonds and distributed one 
thousand asfarafis among the poor to mark the excess 
of his happiness. So remarkable was her presence of 
mind that she never wavered in dangers and difficulties. 
She displayed ample courage and resourcefulness when 
her husband (Jahangir) was taken prisoner by 
Mahabat Khan. Experienced generals and veteran 
soldiers were surprised to see her seated on the back of 
an elephant and firing a fusillade of arrows at the enemy 
in the thick of fight. 


If she had become what Dr. Smith calls, ' a power 
behind the throne/ it was because 
she was possessed of a quick under- 
standing and a sharp intellect which 
' enabled her to understand the most intricate political 
problems without any difficulty/ To quote Dr. Ishwari 
Prasad : ' No political or diplomatic complication was 
beyond her comprehension, and the greatest statesmen 
and ministers bowed to her decisions/ She carried on 
the administration of the country so carefully that even 
the minutest details could not escape her ever-vigilant 
eye. So supreme was her sway over the Sovereign and 
the State that even the proudest peers of the realm paid 
her homage because they knew that a word from her 
would make or mar their careers. 

But her influence on the State was not all for good. 

She used her power and influence in 
ontte State e advancing the interests of her own 

family. She surrounded herself with 
her own kith and kin and appointed them to responsible 
posts in the State. In order to strengthen her position, 
she married her daughter by Sher Afgan to Shahryar 
and tried to push him to power. Notwithstanding the 
fact that Prince Khurram was the acknowledged heir to 
the Mughal throne after Jahanglr, she put forward the 
claims of her own son-in-law in preference to his. This 
led to very serious consequences. The Court and the 
Harem alike became centres of political intrigue. By 
playing upon the feelings and fancies of her husband she 
ceaselessly intrigued to dislodge Khusrau from the place 
he had found in the hearts of the people. She worked 


hard to undermine the increasing power and influence of 
Khurram, who had become Sfaah Khurram after the 
Mewar campaign and Shah Jahan after the Deccan. It 
will be seen that the death of Khusrau, the loss of 
Qandhar and the rebellions of Khurram and Mahabat 
Khan were owing to her machinations and mischievous 

Although Nur Jahan resorted to all sorts of 
Her character. underhand means, plots and intrigues, 

she was not devoid of genuine sym- 
pathies, so often the share of the softer sex. She was 
a generous patron of the poor daughters uf Islam, for 
whom she found both husbands and dowries. She was 
an asylum for orphan and poor girls. She protected the 
weak and the oppressed and provided for the poor and 
the powerless out of her private purse. Her charity and 
munificence enhanced her reputation and increased her 
popularity. She was a most faithful wife. Her 
devotion to her husband was unmixed. Under her 
influence Jahangir's paroxysms of rage and drunken- 
ness diminished and the expenses of the Court were 
considerably reduced. Her filial affection was no less 
intense, and she enter tained the warmest feelings for her 
brothers and other relatives. 

Shah Jahan could not disentangle his father from the 

web of romance which Nur Jahan was 
Rebellion of . j , . /T 

Shah Jahan. weaving around him. When the 

' infatuated old emperor ' deprived 
him, at the instigation of his imperious consort, of all 
his posts and fiefs, the Prince unfurled the flag of 
revolt in self-defence. In 1623 A. C. the Prince 


advanced upon Agra with as many troops as he hap- 
pened to possess at that time. The armies of the fatjher 
and the son met each other at Balochpur and in the 
battle that followed, the Imperialists inflicted a crushing 
defeat on the Prince. The Imperial general, Mahabat 
Kban, drove him from place to place till he reached Asir 
and occupied it without opposition. Deserted by his 
pwn followers, he turned to Malik Ambar for 
support. On receiving a curt refusal, he sought refuge 
in Golconda against the Imperialists who were pursuing 
him under the command of Prince Parvez and 
Mahabat K^an. The ruler of that State ordered him 
to quit his country and seek shelter elsewhere. Driven 
to despair, he betook himself to Bengal where the local 
authorities espoused his cause and owed him allegiance. 
Becoming master of Bengal, he reduced Bihar and 
Orissa and advanced against Oudh and Allahabad, but 
there he was defeated by the Imperialists and put to 
flight. Resting for a while in the fortress of Rohtas, 
he next proceeded to the Deccan where he was warmly 
received by Malik Ambar, the old enemy of the Mughal 
Empire. Having made common cause with him against 
the Mughal Emperor, he attacked Burhanpur. In the 
meantime he was overtaken by the Imperialists again. 
Notwithstanding Malik Ambar's alliance, the Prince 
found further opposition impossible. His generals and 
soldiers had deserted him and gone over to the side of 
the Imperialists. Although he was still in possession of 
the famous fortress of Rohtas in the North and the 
stronghold of Asir in the South, he could not stand 
against the vast military resources of the Empire. 


Considerations of safety and prudence compelled him 
to write to his father to forgive his faults. The 
Empress, who viewed with fear the growing influence 
of Mahabat Khan and his alliance with Prince Parvez, 
at once agreed to the proposal of Prince Khurram. 
Accordingly, the Prince surrendered the strongholds of 
Rohtas and Aslr, sent his two sons, Dara and 
Aurangzeb, aged ten and eight respectively, to the Court 
as a guarantee of good faith, and offered gifts worth 
Rs. 100,000 to the Emperor. After this he retired to 
Nasik with his spouse and son, Murad. 

The splendid successes of Shan Jahan had silenced 

Nur Jahan for SOITIP time and the 
Mahabat Khan. question of succession was temporarily 

relegated to the corner. But the 
death of Khusrau and the defeat of Shah Jahan 
revived the idea dorment in her mind, and in order to 
secure the succession for her son-in-law, Shahryar, she 
began to mobilize her forces of intrigue against Mahabat 
Khan, * the most redoubtable general and diplomatist of 
the empire/ whose only offence was his intimacy with 
Prince Parvez, the principal claiman 4 " to the throne and 
the most serious rival of Shahryar at that time. Orders 
were issued for Mahabat to resign the command of 
the Imperial army and to take charge of the 
government of Bengal. Prince Parvez protested in vain 
against an order to which both he and his associate 
ultimately bowed. As if this was not enough, Mahabat 
was accused of embezzlement and corruption. He was 
ordered to account for the moneys he had acquired by 
dismissing certain fief-holders. He was further indicted 


for having betrothed b''s daughter to the son of a certain 
Khwajah Umar Naqhbandl without royal permission. 
His prospective son-in-law was treated with unsparing 
insults. He was deprived of all his wealth and ordered 
to attend the Imperial Court to explain his conduct. 
Mahabat was deeply offended by this unmerited 
treatment. Suspecting treachery, he set out, suitably 
escorted by five thousand Rajput followers, and seized 
the person of the Emperor when he and his wife were 
about to cross the Jhelum. Nur Jahan escaped, so also 
her son-in-law. Fidai Khan, the Imperial Commander- 
in-Chief, maae an heroic dash to rescue the Emperor, 
but failed. Nrr Jahan crossed the river on an elephant 
and tried to organize the Imperial forces ; but in a state 
of contusion the panic-stricken officers took to flight. 
Asaf Khan, with his three thousand soldiers, sought 
shelter in the fort of Attock. Although Nur Jahan 
displayed her characteristic courage and coolness in this 
crisis, her masculine qualities proved of little avail. 
Where force failed, the wiles of woman succeeded. She 
joined her husband in his captivity, and by a clever 
stratagem she managed to throw Mahabat Khan off his 
guard. She plundered his treasure and reduced him to 
sore straits. Thus, after a short-lived ascendancy, 
Mahabat made his way to Mewar and thence to the 
Deccan, where he joined Shah Jahan and concluded an 
alliance with him. 

When Mahabat Khan revolted Shah Jahan was in 
Shah Jahan's the Deccan - Forthwith he proceeded 

subsequent towards the North to try his luck 

movements. ,, .. . , , 

there once more. Reaching Smd, he 


made an attempt to capture the fort, but failed. Cowed 
down and crest-fallen, he retired to the Deccan again. 
There he met Mahabat and made an alliance with him, 
as remarked before. Prince Parvez died in 1626 A. C. 
and Jahangir in 1627 A. C. on his way back from 
Kashmir. The claims of Shah Jahan were now 
strengthened ; for his only serious rival was Shahryar, 
who was a mere mediocre. 

While the corpse of the Emperor was being 

buried at Shahdara in the Dilkusha 
War of Succession. . ^ T ~ 

Garden or Nur Jahan near Lahore, the 

fate of the Mughal Empire lay in the scrle. At this 
time there were two sons of Jahangir who had survived 
him : Shah Jahan and Shahryar, each of whom had 
his own supporters at the Court. Prince Shah Jahan 
was away in the Deccan at the time of his father's 
death. The news of the sad event was conveyed to 
him by his father-in-law, Asaf Khan, and he set out 
towards the North to secure his succession. Prince 
Shahryar was in Lahore. His cause was espoused by 
his mother-in-law, Nur Jahan, who had by that time 
finished with the funeral rites of her husband. 
Encouraged by the Empress and egged on by his wife, 
Shahryar seized the Imperial Treasure and proclaimed 
himself emperor at Lahore. While Asaf Khan, who 
wished to see his own son-in-law on the throne, set 
up at Agra the son of the ill-starred Khusrau, called 
Dawar Bakhsh, as a stop-gap emperor till the arrival of 
Shah Jahan. Meanwhile Nur Jahan wanted to see her 
brother, Asaf Kban, in order to gain him to her side ; 
but the latter thwarted her plans by evading her. At 


the head of a strong army, Asaf advanced upon Lahore 
and inflicted a sharp defeat on Shahryar. The defeated 
prince was imprisoned and his eyes were put out. 
Meanwhile Shah Jahan's arrival was anxiously awaited 
at the Capital. His coronation took place on February 6, 
1628 A. C. immediately after his arrival. 

Finding that her cause was lost, Nur Jahan retired 

to private life. Although she had 
Shln's f carler. been the arch-enemy of Shah Jahan 

and the main cause of his misfortunes, 
the latter forgot the past and treated her with all 
respect and kindnens. He granted her an annual 
pension of two lakhs and took care to carry out her 
wishes. Now she gave up all thoughts of luxury and 
luxuriance and began to live a simple life. She passed 
her last days at Lahore in company with her daughter, 
the widow of Shahryar. She died on the 8th of 
December, 1645 A. C. and her body was interred in 
the mausoleum which she had raised over the grave of 
her husband. Thus ended the days of Nur Jahan. 



During the reign of Jahangir India was visited by 

a number of foreigners, representing 
Introductory. * ri- *u 

three European nationalities, the 

Portuguese, the Dutch and the English, all of whom 
endeavoured to establish friendly relations with the 
Mughal Emperor, who was favourably disposed towards 
them. In the present chapter it is intended to give a 
short account of Jahangir's relations with them and 
their impressions of this country and its condition 
under the Great Mughal. 

In order to please the Sunni orthodoxy and to 
, I ... secure his succession to the throne, 

relations with Jahangir had severed his connections 

the Portuguese. ... ., ^ , ~ , 

with the Portuguese. But as soon 

as he firmly seated himself on the throne, he renewed 
his relations with them and began to "how favours to 
the Jesuit Fathers as liberally as he had done in the 
reign of his father. He allowed them to run their 
churches in Agra and Lahore without molestation, to 
conduct their church processions with complete Catholic 
ceremonials through the streets of the city of Agra, and 
to make converts to their religion if they could. He 
himself loved to see the pictures of Christian saints 
around him. Figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary 
adorned his rosary and he is reported to have granted 


cash allowances to Christian missionaries for ecclesiasti- 
cal purposes. So great was his love and reverence for 
Christ and Mary that the Christians had come to claim 
him as a convert to their creed. It appears that 
JahSngir's policy towards the Portuguese was actuated 
by an ulterior political aim ; his object was to secure the 
support of the Portuguese who possessed a strong 
artillery imported from Europe. In 1613 A. C., however, 
they incurred the wrath of the Emperor by seizing 
four imperial ships and plundering their cargoes. In 
retaliation, their settlement at Daman was attacked, 
their churches wen closed and their ceremonies were 
stopped. All this was due to their own high- 

The East Indian trade was extremely lucrative. To 

AI- .u u n i- u Portuguese, who had a monopoly 

\Vith the English. ...,,, 

of it, it yielded enormous profits. A 

number of European nations were attracted to India to 
participate in it, and the English were among them. The 
East India Company was founded by them in 1600 A. C., 
but it was only in the reign of Jahanglr that they began 
to make earnest efforts to advance their trade interests in 
India. Between 1600 A C. and 1608 A, C. the 
Company sent three missions to the Mughal Court to 
establish friendly relations with the 'Great Mughal ' and 
to conclude a commercial treaty with him. The 
missions failed in their object mainly owing to the 
hostile influence of the Portuguese who looked upon 
the English as their rivals and therefore intrigued and 
plotted against them. 


It was in 1608 A. C that William Hawkins, an 

William Hawkins En g lish sea-captain, ^commanding the 

and William 'Hector,' arrived at Agra with a letter 

Edwardes. rr . T T r T^ i j 

from King James I of England, 

seeking permission to trade with India and to build a 
factory at Surat. Hawkins was hospitably received by 
the Emperor and granted a mansab of 400 with a salary 
of thirty thousand. The trade concessions, which he 
asked for, were readily granted, but were subsequently 
withdrawn owing to the inimical influence of the 
Portuguese. After the departure of Hawkins, it was 
only when the Portuguese had fallen out with 
the Emperor that another Englishman, William 
Edwardes, arrived at the Imperial Court and secured 
trade facilities which were, however, withdrawn a little 
later at the instigation of the Portuguese. 

The informal missions of Hawkins and Edwardes 

^ were followed by a formal embassy 

Sir Thomas Roe. - . ^ ,, , ' 

of Sir Thomas Roe, the accredited 

plenipotentiary of the King of England, who arrived at 
the Mughal Court in 1615 A. C. in order to 
negotiate a trade treaty with Jahangir, As a dexterous 
diplomatist and a shrewd politician, eminently endowed 
with common-sense and business capacity, Roe was 
best-fitted for the task he was entrusted with. He 
was far superior to his predecessors in point of intellect, 
education and experience. By offering valuable presents 
to Nur Jahan, Asaf Khan and Prince Shah Jahan, he 
gained them to his side and presented the terms he 
wanted to secure for his nation in the form of a treaty. 
Though the draft of the treaty, which he submitted, 


was ^not accepted in toto, yet he secured a firman from 
the Emperor, which otfered considerable concessions : 
The English were allowed to build a factory at Surat, 
to hire any site they liked for the factory to erect on, 
to trade freely within the country and to enjoy the 
right of self-government. The evils and abuses of the 
custom-houses were put an end to, and tolls were 
not to be levied on articles entering into a port. Above 
all, if the British merchants were attacked by the 
Portuguese, they would be assisted by the local governor 
with boats and other necessary requisites. The grant 
of this firmun is indeed an important landmark in the 
history of Anglo-Indian relations. In short, it humbled 
the pride of the Portuguese, enhanced the prestige of 
the English and laid the first foundation-stone of the 
British Empire of India. 

A large number of Europeans visited India during 

Foreign accounts the reign of Jahangir. Some of them 

of Jahangir's reign have left their impressions about the 

and their veracity. ~ ^ - , , -^ , . 

Court of the Emperor and the 

condition of the country. Roe's Journal deals almost 
exclusively with crart life and the political intrigues of 
the time. As regards the condition of the country, 
it reveals very little, though we can catch glimpses of 
the same from it at intervals. Terry's account contains 
a description of the country and the condition of the 
people; whereas Hawkins* account is mainly confined 
to the description of the personal character of Jahangir 
and his daily routine. But it must be noted that all 
these accounts are not entirely free from exaggerations. 
They are useful only so far as they corroborate certain 


facts of Indian history and contradict others. But 
where they come in conflict with the cumulative 
testimony of contemporary native historians, their 
authenticity must needs be called in question. Ignorant 
as the European travellers were of the life and thought 
of the people and their psychology, their accounts 
cannot be expected to be unmixed, more so when 
sometimes their wishes were not complied with, 

From Sir Thomas Roe's accounts it can be 
gathered that he had to bribe a 

and its customs. order to achieve his object. He 
speaks of some grave abuses at sea- 
ports where the local governors seized upon goods at 
arbitrary prices. Most of the Subahdars were exacting 
and tyrannical in their dealings with their subjects. 
They were, however, generally sympathetic towards 
foreigners. The Court was magnificent and even 
luxurious. Roe dwells at length on the customs and 
festivities of the Court and the fashions in vogue. He 
says that the nobility was courteous and the courtiers, 
as a class, were corrupt and unprincipled. The highest 
officials were extravagantly paid and bribery was 
commonly practised. His narrative also shows that 
travelling was unsafe between the coast and the capital, 
and the port officers were grossly cruel. There was 
no written constitution. The King was the State- aixl 
his word was law. The provincial governors behaved 
as d^SpoSfand their aUegiance to the Central Govern- 
ment was half-hearted. According to the Law of 
Escheat, the property of the deceased belonged to the 


State. The cities of the D';ccan bore a sad and 

neglected appearance. 

Speaking of the personal character of Jahangir, 
Roe remarks that the Emperor was 
an inveterate drunkard, but by day 

personal he was a picture of temperance. 

character. _, , , .. , ,, 

The ambassador witnessed the scenes 

of drunkenness and revelry only during his nocturnal 
visits. The Emperor never allowed anyone, whose 
breath smelt of wine, to enter his daily levees. In 
spite of his excessive addiction to wine and occasional 
paroxysms of rage, tue Emperor, remarks Roe, was not 
wanting either in good sense or in good feelings. He 
describes His Majesty as an amiable, cheerful man, full 
of passion, but free from pride and prejudice. When 
Roe visited India, KJjusrau was alive. He found the 
Prince a general favourite of the people. He describes 
him as a man of lovely presence and fine carriage. 
According to the ambassador, Prince Khurram was 
cold, stiff and repellant. He is portrayed as one who was 
flattered by some, envied by many and loved by none. 
The fine art? were in a flourishing state. Roe 

was amazed at the workmanship 
State of Fine Arts. . T ,. ... XT7 , . - 

of Indian artists. We learn from 

his account that once he presented an English picture 
to the Emperor, who immediately had it copied at 
the hands of his own artists. ^ The copies were so 
faithful that even after a close scrutiny the ambassador 
could not distinguish them from the original. A 
somewhat detailed account of the fine arts will presently 


As mentioned befcxe, Hawkins too has left an 

account of the Emperor, his Court 
Hawkins account. . . . 

and the country ; but his description 

is confined mainly to the character of Jahangir and the 
daily routine of his Court. He describes the Emperor 
as very fond of drinking and giving feasts, the most 
notable of which was that of Nauroz. His account 
shows that Jahangir was cruel and unpopular ; that he 
took delight in inflicting barbarous punishments ; that his 
administration was not good, that the Law of Escheat 
was in force ; that bribery was rife and corruption was 
common ; that the local authorities were oppressive 
and the pay of the nobles was extravagantly high. 
It must be remembered that Hawkins had left the 
Mughal Court in disgust, and for this reason he cannot 
be expected to have been unbiassed in writing his 

The essential elements of administration introduced 

by Akbar the Great were continued 
Administration ,. ,. , uu- TU- 

of Jahangir. and kept in order by his son, Jahangir 

whose Dastur-ul-Amal is a decided 
improvement on the administration of his illustrious 
predecessor. Dr. V. A. Smith's view that Jahanglr's 
reign was ' inglorious ' is not borne out by facts, A 
king, who retained intact the vast possessions of his 
House, with the solitary exception of Qandhar, must 
have been a successful administrator. The fact that 
his reign constituted a period of peace and prosperity, 
except only when the question of succession excited 
rival interests, speaks much for the efficiency of his 
administration. The view may hold good in respect 


of certain traits of his oersona*. character, but not in 
respect of his administration. There may be a measure 
of truth in the view that his administration was marked 
by a certain amount of deterioration as compared with 
the high standard maintained by his talented father, 
but the view that his reign was ' inglorious ' is not at all 

Jahangir was not deficient in natural abilities, but 

unfortunately some of his great 

His love of letters. r ,, j u u 

faculties were marred by his excessive 

use of wine and opium. Ha himself informs us that 
he was highly proficient in Turkish and Persian. 
William Hawkins, who knew Turkish well, found him 
well-versed in that tongue. This knowledge of the 
Turkish language enabled him to read the Wdqiydt-i- 
Bdbari in the original. The copy which he possessed 
was not finished. He supplied the four wanting sections 
and wrote a few lines in Turkish to indicate that the 
complementary portion was added by him. He was 
a profound student of history. In common with other 
Mughal Emperors, he had an innate desire to leave 
behind him a record of all the important events of his 
reign. With this aim in view, he wrote his autobio- 
graphy, called the Tuzk-i- Jahangir i after his own name, 
with the help of two consummate historians, Muhammad 
Hadi and Mu'tamid Khan, When the work was done, 
the mutasaddls (amanuenses) were ordered to make 
other copies of the original in order to distribute them 
among the high officials of the Imperial Service and 
the influential men of the different parts of his 
dominions. The first copy was presented to Prince 


Khurram (Shah Jahan) i s a mark of honour to him. 
Under Jahangir the Imperial Court was the cradle 
of the sage and the scholar, the poet 
and the painter, as much as of 
accomplished savants of both the sexes. 
It can be gathered from the Tuzk-i-Jahangir% that the 
Emperor used to associate himself with learned men, 
divines, and recluses on Friday evenings. Some of the 
best scholars attached to his Court were: Ni'mat-Ullah, 
the historiographer who crytallised into a book the 
material accumulated by Haibat Khan of Samana about 
the history of the Afghans; Mirza Gbiya^ Beg, the able 
arithmetician, who also stood splendid and unsurpassed 
in the elegance of composition ; Abdul Haq Dehlawi, 
one of the most erudite men of the day, who came 
to wait upon the Emperor and presented him with a work 
written by him on the lives of the Shaikhs of Hindustan; 
Naqib Khan, the most honoured historian, who wrote a 
number of books on history ; and Mu'tamid Khan, who 
assisted Jahangir in preparing his autobiography, since 
styled as the Tuzk-i-Jahangiri, or the Memoirs of 
Jahangir. Besides these literati, the celebrated author 
of the Iqbalndmah (an account of Jahangir's reign) has 
given, at the end of his book, a list of some more 
scholars and prominent poets of the present reign. 

Great as was Jahangir's love of learning, no less was 
his zeal for the extension of education 

USSSiin? f in his kin g dom - " is recorded in the 

Tarilch-i-Jdn Jahan that soon after 
his accession to the throne, he " repaired and recon- 
structed even those madrasahs which had been, for 


three decades, the dwelling-pKces of birds and beasts 
and filled them with professors and students." One of 
the twelve clauses of the Rules of Conduct ordained 
that the property left by the heirless deceased should be 
used for the repair and reconstruction of moribund 

Sir Thomas Roe gives us to understand that 

manual arts were in a flourishing state 

me r s * and were not confined to those peculiar 

to the country. The plenipotentiary of England presented 

the Great Mughal with a handsome coach. Within a 

very short time several others were manufactured, " very 

superior in materials, and fully equal in workmanship". 

JahSnglr was an ardent lover of painting. He is 

X"" rightly called the " Prince of Artists". 

Painting. , f t * 

Himself a painter of no mean merit, 

he gave a fresh impetus to the school of his father's 
creation, and his appreciation and encouragement raised 
the Indian painter's art to the highest pitch ever 
attained under the Timurides. " In this time/ 1 says 
Catrou, " there were found in the Indies native painters 
who copied the finest of our European pictures with a 
fidelity that might vie with the originals." 

One of Roe's presents to the Padshah was a picture 
of extraordinary elegance. The envoy was soon after 
presented with a number of its copies, including the 
original, and " they were so very similar that by candle- 
light one could not be distinguished from the other." 
It was only after a close scrutiny that he could make 
out the original picture. 


From mural decoration, as already remarked in 

. ^ . . connection with Akbar's reign, the 
Portrait Painting. . b 9 

Mughal Painter passed on to exquisite 

portraiture, which reached the zenith of its glory under 
Jahanglr, than whom no keener or more discerning, 
more critical or more aesthetic, more lively or more 
munificent patron has ever been found in the whole 
history of Hindustan. The bulk of his commissions 
consisted of painting of portraits of the Amirs and 
Maliks at the Mughal Court and of Court scenes. 

Under Jahanglr Persian and Hindu artistic tradi- 
tions were happily blended, each impioving and 
enriching the other, each striking the chord and stirring 
the sensibilities of the seer, each demanding a minute- 
ness of attention to its details, which, on account of 
the creations of that time, have been a marvel for the 
succeeding generations and a despair to all the would-be 
imitators of this art. 

If art found its highest expression in Jahangir's 
Painters under reign, it was mainly through the 

the Imperial Imperial patronage, which, no longer 

Patronage. the monopo j y of the poet or the 

painter, took every kind of artist under its wings. 
Among the best painters of Jahangir's Court may be 
mentioned the names of the following : Ustad Mansur, 
that prince of painters whom Jahanglr officially styled 
Nadir-ul-Asr* (the Wonder of the Age), was unique in 
his art* He was a past-master in animal portraiture 
and his pictures of birds and beasts are still the living 

* Martin says : " Jahanglr was a great lover of birds, and had 
a painter, Mansur, who portrayed his favourites (birds) in a way 
aften worthy of Diirer." 


creatures of his immortal b ush. He found a fervent 
devotee to his art in the person of the Emperor. Abul 
Hasan was another eminent painter attached to the 
Court of Jahanglr. He was an adept in producing 
landscapes and human portraits. Once he brought to 
the Emperor a delightful picture of his Court, which 
was used as a frontispiece to the Jahdngirnamah. He 
was held, in common with Mansur, in high esteem by 
Jahanglr. Bishan Das was another portrait painter. 
About him Mr. K. T. Shah writes in his Splendour that 
was *Ind : 

" Every granaee of the Court has been immortalized 
by his undying brush ; and every noteworthy incident 
at Court or in the Camp, where the Emperor was 
present, or in which he was interested, has been recorded 
and preserved by the labours of these immortals." 

Jahanglr had a keen sense of fine architecture. 

. _. A A The magnificent monuments of his 

Architecture. . 

reign, in comparison to those of 

his father and son, are very few and insignificant, 
unless we ascribe the Jahangiri Mahal at Agra and the 
tomb of Akbar ?t Sikandara to him. The mausoleum 
of Mirza Gbiyas Beg (Itimad-ud-Daulah), a stately 
structure in which elegance is wedded to beauty, 
was built at Agra by his beautiful daughter, Nur 
Jahan, the cultured wife of Jahangir, in snowy 
marble, on a raised platform, in two storeys, with an 
octagonal tower on each angle, with a central open 
pavilion enclosed by a square walled garden. It is the 
most striking specimen of the architectural achievements 
of Jahangir's reign. 


This aesthetic Empero. had also an ear for mus'c. 

The Iqbalnamah records the names of 

the following singers who were in 

attendance on him : Jahanglr Dad, Chatar Khan, 
Parvez Dad, Khurram Dad, Makhu, and Hamzah all 
noted for the captivating sweetness of their voice. 

This Imperial Artist surpassed even his father in 

aesthetic tastes. He planted a large 
Gardens. . \. . ? 

number of gardens in his kingdom in 

order to win the heart of the reluctant Nur Jahan. 
Dilkusha Garden (Shah Dara) at Lahore ; Nishat Bagh, 
Shalamar Bagh, Achibal Bagh and Verinag Bagh at 
Kashmir ; the Royal Garden at Udaipur the Garden 
Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah at Agra ; and Wah Bagh at 
Hasan Abdal were all laid out by him. 

Salim, the son of ptayer and promise, was 
extravagantly loved and spoiled in his 

' earl y y uth ' He g reW U P to be a 

most violent, indulgent, indolent, 

wilful and easy-going man. He was kind and 
sympathetic if his will was not thwarted ; if it was, his 
outbursts of wrath were terrible. Almost all authorities 
agree that he was just, wise and vigorous. He was 
endowed with an intellect which enabled him to 
comprehend the most intricate problems of the State 
without difficulty. Himself a confirmed drunkard, he 
forbade the manufacture and sale of wine and prevented 
his subjects from using it. " As he advanced in age, 
the old impetuosity of his temper was sobered down, 
and his outlook was modified by the appreciation of the 
responsibilities of his exalted office.' 1 When sober, he 


tr'ed to work wisely and carjfully for the betterment of 
his kingdom. He administered even-handed justice and 
suppressed tyranny with a heavy hand. Law and order 
were maintained throughout the length and breadth of 
the Mughal Empire and even the remotest parts were 
not neglected in this respect. Jahanglr was extremely 
benign and generous. His Memoirs teem with instances 
of his munificence and good-will. There was no man 
of merit who was not rewarded by him. ' A slight 
claim of service,' he used to say, * is a great thing with 
us.' He felt great pleasure in patronising the poor and 
supplying tneir material requirements. 

The me t remarkable trait of his character was his 

TI . . , XT _ appreciation of beauty and everything 
His love for Nur ., Jo 

Jah:.n and his beautiful. He was passionately 

'own Sh d km. attached to Mehr-un-Nisa, whom he 
used to call Nur Mahal, or the Light 
of the Palace, and Nur Jahdn, or the Light of the 
world. * No misunderstanding or mistrust,' says Dr. 
Ishwari Prasad, * ever marred the happiness of their 
conjugal relations '. While the Empress loved him 
with all her heart and guided him through all the 
problems of the State, the Emperor shared with her the 
sovereignty of his Kingdom and cherished her above all 
in the world. As a son, he proved to be most untoward 
during the lifetime of his father ; but on becoming king, 
he repented of his acts of disobedience and became a 
dutiful son. In his Memoirs he speaks reverently of his 
father and praises him for his noble qualities. Many a 
time he walked to his sepulchre at Sikandara to pay him 
homage. As a father, he was forgiving and forgetful. 


If the fate of Khusrau was tragic, it was owing to the 
enmity of Nur Jahan and Shah Jahan. He treated his 
kinsmen with great kindness, but he never forgave them 
for political offences. 

As a man of learning, he was very fond of belles 

u ~ , . . lettres. His favourite subjects were 
His refined tastes. , % J 

history, biography and geography. 
He was a good poet and a penman. According to Dr. 
Ishwari Prasad 'his intimate knowledge of the flora 
and fauna of Kashmir and other parts of Hindustan 
will cause surprise to a naturalist in these days '. Like 
his father, he loved to hear Hind* songs and took 
delight in patronising Hindi poets. He loved fine arts 
and encouraged their cultivation. Born in India and of 
Indian parents, Jahangir loved things Indian and felt 
delighted in Indian environments. 

Just like his father, Jahangir too has suffered on 

account of his liberal views. Histori- 

HlS rellglOUS , r-ij^r J/-- A 

beliefs ans have failed to form a definite 

opinion about his religion. The 
opinion of his contemporaries was coloured by 
their own religious beliefs. To some he was an 
atheist, to others an eclectic. Some looked upon him 
as a sincere Muslim, whereas others called him a 
Christian. It is not difficult to state his positive 
religious beliefs. Although he took a lively interest in 
the teachings of other religions, specially of Sufism and 
Veddnt, and never persecuted anyone on account of his 
religious beliefs, ' he retained intact his faith in God, 
and said his prayers like a Muslim '. Those who 
denounce him as an atheist or as an apostate from Islam, 


probably forget the enviro iments in which he was 
brought up and the influences that surrounded him in 
his early days. Nurtuied as he was amidst the most 
liberal influences, it was natural for him to remain above 
the trammels of religion. He was Akbar's son and his 
was the same Sulh-i-Kul policy. 

To sum up, Jahanglr was a great ruler, capable of 

immense energy. If he had not 
His estimate. e J 

allowed himself to be dominated by the 

Nur Jahan clique, he would have proved himself an 
excellent administrator, worthy to be placed by the side 
of his father. It must, however, be pointed out that 
the real glory of his reign has been greatly eclipsed by 
the splendour of the two reigns that followed and 
preceded his, and he himself has suffered much on 
account of coming between two illustrious sovereigns 
Akbar the Great and Shah Jahan the Magnificent. 


(1628-1658 A. C.) 

When Shah Jahan returned from the Deocan, 

Dawar Bakhsh, the emperor stop- 
Accession of ,, , , , ^ 
Shah Jahan. 6 a P> was allowed to escape to Persia ; 

but the rest of his collaterals were 
mercilessly murdered and their supporters were ruthless- 
ly chastised. So startling were the scenes of the 
tragedies that the ladies of the Royal Harem were taken 
aback, so much so that some of them went even so far 
as to end their lives by committing suicides. Thus 
wading his way to the throne through bloodshed, 
Shah Jahan crowned himself at Agra on the 6th day 
of February, 1628 A. C. in a formal manner and 
assumed the title of Abul Mazaffar Shahab-ud-D!n 
Muhammad Sahib Qiran-i-SanI Shah Jahan Badshah 
Gbazl. The Khutba was recited and the coins were 
struck in the name of the new emperor. The coins 
that bore the name of Nur Jahan were at once with- 
drawn, and she was asked to retire to private life. 
She was treated with becoming dignity and was 
allowed to pass her days in peace on a handsome 
pension of two lakhs a year. Amidst odes and 
encomiums, prepared by the prominent poets that had 
ceme from far and wide, the coronation ceremony 
was gone through and the beat of drums implied, 
perhaps, that a new era had been ushered in the history 


of India. But, for the man /hose thickness of blood 
melted at the prospect of becoming the Emperor of 
India, fate had reserved a fitting retribution, and no 
surprise was felt when the inhuman acts of Shah Jahan 
were imitated by his son, Aurangzeb, towards the close 
of his own reign, as will be seen in a subsequent 

The new emperor inaugurated his reign by a 

number of important acts. He 
His early acts. began by strengthening the found _ 

ations of the laws of Islam, which, if Abdul Hamid 
Lahorl be believed, were in a state of decline. The 
Sharlyat was strictly enforced. Sijdah y which was 
introduced by Akbar as an act of salutation and 
continued by Jahanglr as such, was regarded as bid' at 
and was at once replaced by Zaminbos, or kissing the 
ground, from which the Sayyads and the Shaikhs, the 
learned and the pious were exempted. A little later, 
however, Zamlnbos too was looked upon as similar to 
Sijdah and was therefore soon superseded by a much 
milder mode of salutation, called Chahartasllm. Quite 
in the same spirit was the calendar reformed. The solar 
system was stopped because it was tantamount to bid'at 
and its place was taken by lunar computation. In record- 
ing official events the lunar system was adopted and 
the Hijra era was adhered to. A number of adminis- 
trative changes were also introduced and the city of 
Agra was named anew as Akbarabad, after the name 
of Akbar, for whom Shah J^han had the greatest 
regard. The officials of the Empire, who had espoused 
the cause of the new king, were rewarded for their 


services without stint , nd their mansabs were raised 
according as they deserved. 2hah Jahan conferred 
great honours on his father-in-law, Asaf Khan, who had 
helped him to the throne after checkmating the plans 
of his sister, Nur Jahan. 

Meanwhile, Shah Jahan was called upon to cope 

r, . . c AU with the rebellion of the Bundela 
Rebellion of the 

Bundelas under clan under their ambitious chief, 
jo ar mg . gj f gj n gj^ fae Imperial protege who 

had murdered Allama Abul Fazl at the 
instigation of Prince Sallm. The Bundelas had, 
by means of blackmailing their neighbours, become 
a power to be reckoned with. Towards the close of 
Jahangir's reign, when the control of the Central 
Government had slackened, they had acquired consider- 
able power and influence. In 1628 A. C. Bir Cingh 
died. His son, Johar Singh, incurred the wrath of the 
new Emperor by quitting the Capital without taking 
his permission. Lest he should be called to the 
Court to explain his conduct, as Qazwini suggests, he 
began to harbour hostilities against the Empire. 
Miscalculating the strength of the Imperial army and 
over-estimating his own limited resources, he concluded 
that he could easily defy the authorities from his 
mountainous country, which, he knew well, was well 
nigh inaccessible. Reaching his stronghold, Undcha 
(or Orcha), he ' set about raising his forces, strengthening 
the forts, providing munitions of war and closing the 
roads.' Shah Jahan could not brook this insult. Forth- 
with he ordered his generals to conduct a campaign 
against the rebellious clan. Islam Khan, Firoz Jang and 


Mahabat Khan, associated with the Mansabdars of the 
highest order, advanced from three directions and 
appeared before the walls of the fort of the Bundela Chief. 
After a short but bloody battle, in which two or three 
thousand lives were destroyed, Undcha was stormed with 
Asaf Khan's artillery and Johar was taken aback by the 
attacks of the Imperialists. Reduced to sore straits,. 
the Chief surrendered himself without further opposition. 
He was made to pay fifteen lakhs of rupees as 
indemnity and one thousand gold mohars as a present 
to His Majesty. Besides, he surrendered forty elephants 
and agreed to contribute a contingent of 2,000 infantry 
and 2,000 cavalry in the impending campaign against 
the Deccan. In return for all this, he was allowed as 
much as would have enabled him to enjoy the mansab 
of 4,uuO Zat and 4,000 Sawar. 

The rebellion of the Bundela clan was followed 
by the revolt of Khan Jahan LodhI, 
otherwise known as Salabat Khan on 
account of his military talents. 
Counting upon the uncertainty of succession to the 
throne after the death of Jahanglr, he had displayed 
hostility for Shah Jahan. When Shah Jahan ascended 
the throne in a formal manner, he implored forgiveness. 
His offence was pardoned and an Imperial firman was 
issued to confirm him in the governorship of the 
Deccan. After sometime, it was discovered that he 
still cherished hatred for the Emperor. He was, 
therefore, called back to the Court, where he lived for 
seven or eight months, but all the time gloomy and 
dejected. The court life had no attraction for his 


restless spirit. His lifv became the more miserable 
when he received intelligence from a certain officer of 
the State that he and his sons would be shortly 
imprisoned. The repeated assurances of the Emperor 
and his Minister, Asaf Khan, were not a sufficient 
guarantee of good faith. Considerations of safety and 
prudence alike compelled him to quit the Court in 
disgust. The Imperial army, sent for his arrest, 
overtook him near Dholpur. Crossing the Chambal, 
passing through the Bundela country and skirting along 
Gondwana, the rebel reached the Deccan, where 
Nizam-ul-Mulk lent him shelter and support. The 
Imperialists pursued him thither and defeated him in 
some skirmishes. Crossing the Narbada on his retreat, 
he reached the neighbourhood of Ujjain, where he 
plundered its inhabitants. Chased into Bundelkhand 
and defeated in a contested engagement, he was put to 
flight and was ultimately brought to bay near Kalanjar, 
was totally defeated and killed at Tal Sehonda, His 
followers were slain in large numbers. The commanders 
of the Imperial iorces, particularly Abdullah and 
Muzaffar, were fitly honoured and rewarded for their 
successes in the arduous campaigns. While the mansab 
of the former general was raised to six thousand Zat 
and six thousand Sawar and he was honoured with 
the title of Firoz Jang, the latter was promoted to the 
mansab of five thousand Zat and five thousand Sawar, 
and the title of Khan Jahan was conferred upon him. 

Shah Jahan celebrated the first Nauroz of his 

4 Celebration of reign in the month of March, 1628 
first Nauroz. A C w j tfa great edat In the 


the courtyard of the Daulat Kh ma a splendid canopy 
was set up and the found was covered with carpets 
of divers colours. The Mnghal Emperor, surrounded 
by his sons, daughters, wife and other relatives, 
sat on the throne placed in the centre. The scene 
presented a picturesque view. A grand feast was 
held, and the grandees of the Empire were invited to 
participate. The members of the Royal family were 
granted gifts and titles. Mumtaz Mahal, the Imperial 
consort, was the recipient of the richest reward : She 
was granted fifty lakhs from the public treasury. Jahan 
Ara received twenty lakhs and her sister Raushan Ara, 
five lakhs. To each of the four princes, Dara, Shuja', 
Aurangzeb and Murad, twenty lakhs in equal moities. 
Asaf Khan, the Imperial father-in-law, was fitly 
honoiaed for his loyalty and devotion. His rank 
was raised to nine thousand Zat and nine thousand 
Sawar. It is said that from the day of his coronation 
to the feast of Nauroz, Shah Jahan expended altogether 
one crore and sixty lakhs from the public treasury in 
granting rewards and pensions. 

During 1630-32 A. C. Gujarat, Khandesh and the 

17 IA* Deccan were visited by a terriole 
Famine : 1630-32. , , . , . , J 

famine, which carried away a large 

proportion of the population. According to Mirza 
Amin Qazwini, who was an eye-witness to the scenes 
of the heart-rending sufferings of the poor and the 
famine-stricken, this dire distress was rampant 
everywhere in the rank and file, and in the bazar the 
shop-keepers sold powdered bones and flour mixed 
together and dog's flesh which was mistaken for meat 


by the suffering classes. Pestilence followed on the 
heels of famine and exacted a heavy toll. People fled 
from their houses and many a fair city became 
desolate. The testimony of Abdul Hamid Lahorl, 
Peter Mundi, who visited the Deccan in 1630-31 A. C., 
and other European writers points to the veracity of 
Amin Qazwini's account. In order to mitigate the 
horrors of the famine and the pestilence that followed it, 
Shah Jahan remitted l/3rd of the land revenue on the 
Crown lands. The remission altogether amounted to 
seventy lakhs. Sarkarl langars (State kitchens) were 
opened and food was distributed gratis to the poor and 
the indigent. ' Every week Rs. 5,000 was given away in 
charity to the famished, and in twenty weeks one lakh 
of rupees was spent in this way. In Ahmadabad 
(Gujarat), where the famine raged most furiously, the 
Emperor sanctioned Rs. 50,000 in excess. His example 
was followed by his Mansabdars and provincial 
governors, who evinced great interest in and solicitude 
for the sound administration of famine relief; they 
made similar remissions of land revenue in their 
respective provinces. But, in those times it was not 
possible to combat srch a calamity so successfully as in 
these days. Sbah Jahan was, nevertheless, fully alive 
to the sufferings of his subjects, and the relief he afforded 
to the sufferers deserves our respect and admiration. 
Dr. Vincent Smith relies on the imperfect translation 
of the Padsfaahnamah by Elliot and Dowson and 

discounts the efforts of Shah Jahan in removing the 
distress of the famine-stricken. While seeking to 
bring out the difference between the conditions of 


native life under the Mughal Rule and the British Raj, 
he forgets to allow for the time that has elapsed since 
then time that has been noted for the marked 
improvement in the means of communications and 

Both Akbar and Jahangir had shown great favours 

to the Portuguese, who had established 
the Portuguese. themselves at Hugli and developed 

their resources by building a number 
of important factories, all fortified and provided with 
fighting material. Shah Jahan had seen enough of 
the acts of aggression committed by them. He was 
looking for a pretext to pay them in their own coin. 
The year 1632 A. C. saw their destruction. The 
causes were: (1) By taking the lease of the villages on 
both sides of the river Hugli, the settlers tyrannised 
ever the poor people. (2) They shamelessly abused 
the concessions of trade granted to them by the 
previous emperors, so much so that they imposed 
customs duties on their own account. As a result, 
the revenues of the State suffered serious deficits. 
(3) They carried on lucrative slave-trade 'which was 
accompanied by much cruelty and torture/ Often 
they kidnapped the orphans of both Hindus and Muslims 
and transported them to foreign countries. (4) Their 
priests behaved in a most fanatical manner. They 
tried to win converts by force and not infrequently 
succeeded in their object. (5) They had offended the 
Empress Mumtaz Mahal by detaining two slave girls 
whom she claimed as hers. These acts of brazen 
insolence were bound to bring down upon them the 


wrath of the Emperor, who thought it expedient to 
chastise them and to check theik influence. 

In 1631 A. C. Shah Jahan appointed Qasim 

Khan as governor of Bengal and en- 
?Sf uglfese! 16 trusted him with the destruction of the 

Portuguese Settlement at Hugli. The 
settlers on either side of the river were attacked and their 
fort was besieged. The siege lasted for over three months. 
Cunningly enough, the Portuguese offered a lakh 
of rupees, together with a tribute, to the Emperor, but 
secretly they prepared themselves for a vigorous defence. 
Putting their forces in order, the} organi/ed a force of 
seven thousand gunners to cannonade the Mughals. 
In the deadly fight that followed, the Portuguese were 
completely routed, their forts and factories were levelled 
to the ground and the garrison, altogether ten thousand 
souls, were either killed or drowned in the river. Those 
who embraced Islam were spared. On the side of 
Shah Jahan as many as one thousand soldiers lost their 
lives. As a result of the war, the Portuguese tyranny 
was over and ten tnousand inhabitants of the country, 
who had been confined in prisons, were liberated. 

Arjumand Banu Begum, also known as Mumtaz 
Mahal, the Lady of the Taj, was a 

MumtLM?hT woman of dazzlin s beaut y and 

powerful intellect. She was the 
daughter of Asaf Kj^an, the most influential noble of 
the Mughal Empire, whose abilities had earned him 
the title of Aristotle. Like her aunt, she was the 
jgoddess of beauty. Her name was a household word 


and her charms were a subject of comment in the 
family circles of the Mdghal aristocracy. Born in 1594 , 
A, C., she was married to Prince Khurram in 1612 A.C. 
when the latter was twenty-two years of age. Shah 
Jahan loved her quite as much for her physical attrac- 
tions as for her intellectual attainments. His passionate 
love was reciprocated by her with added intensity. 
While he was a homeless wanderer during the closing 
years of his father's reign, she was his best friend and 
guide. With him she cheerfully braved the privations 
of a fugitive life. At his accession, she was honoured 
with the titL of M>.Mha-i-Zaman, and her allowances 
and jagirs were boundlessly increased. Her advice 
was sought in all important matters of the Government 
and valued so much that the Emperor took no initia- 
tive without taking her opinion. She was entrusted 
with the custody of the Royal Seal, and it was at her 
instance that it was given to her father some time 
afterwards. Since her betrothal to Shah Jahan, she- 
had remained faithful to him and there was nothing on 
earth that could mar the happiness of their conjugal 
relations. She bore her husband fourteen children and 
remained a constant source of strength to him till she 
quietly passed away in 1630 A.C. Her death, was due 
to a fatal delivery. The tragic event took place at 
Burhanpur when her husband was conducting his cam- 
paign against Kban Jahan Lodhl. Her remains were 
removed to Akbarabad after six months. There she 
was given a provisional burial ; for later her remains 
were transferred to Agra and interred in the mausoleum 
known as the Taj. 


Mumtaz Mahal was endowed with all those 
accomplishments which add to the 

MuS?MahaL di g nit y of womanhood. She is justly 
regarded as a most virtuous woman' 
of her time. Her generosity was par excellence. She 
secured pardon from the Emperor for a number of 
criminals who had lost all hopes of life. Her charity 
was boundless. There was none whose prayer was not 
granted at her door. She could be approached for 
assistance without any difficulty. To women of low 
fortunes and limited means, she granted daily allow- 
ances and cash money according to th^ir material 
requirements. Her gentle heart was moved at the sight 
of poor orphans and widows in difficulties. For many 
a poor and helpless girl, she found husbands 
and provided them with suitable dowries. By the 
nobility of her character and the serenity of her temper 
she enthroned herself in the heart of her husband and 
gained the good-will of her subjects. In the Haramsarai 
she was assuredly 'a warmth-diffusing bliss'. Few 
polygamous households can claim to have enjoyed such 
happiness as the household of Shah Jahan. Her 
memory has been safely preserved by her husband in 
the Taj, a 'monument of conjugal love and fidelity', and 
a thing of beauty and a joy for ever. 

The existence of the Shia Sultanates of the Deccan 

was an eye-sore to the Mughal 
Shah Jahan's ^ ^ , . , ., r Ark 

Deccan Policy. tmperors. Between the year loOO 1 

A. C. and 1605 A. C. Akbar was 
occupied in his Deccan campaign. He was able to annex 
to his Empire the whole of the kingdom of Khandesk' 


and a large part of Ahmadnagar, including Berar. 
His ambition was to extend his sway over the whole of 
India, but his death prevented his plans to mature 
and materialise. His son, Jahanglr, resumed his 
father's policy with added enthusiasm ; but he found a 
tough foe in Malik Ambar. Hence, nothing substantial 
'Was accomplished and all efforts to annex the Deccan to 
the Mughal Empire ended in smoke. To Shah Jahan 
was left the policy of reducing the Shia Sultanates as a 
family legacy. It must, however, be remembered that 
vwhereas Akbar and Jahanglr were actuated by purely 
political motives in their aggressive policy against the 
Deccan Sultanates, Shah Jahan's wars against the 
Shia Sultans were the outcome of his religious zeal 
mixed with political prejudice. In his object he was 
more successful than his predecessors, because in the 
first place, he himself was acquainted with the ins and 
outs of the Deccan ; secondly, a devastating famine had 
-wrought havoc in that quarter and thus facilitated the 
.conquest ; and lastly, Malik Ambar, the very soul of 
vigorous defence, was no more alive. 

The successful suppression of the rebellion of Khan 
Jahan Lodhi afforded a favourable 
opportunity to Shah Jahan to declare 
war against Ahmadnagar. The help 
which the rebellious Lodhi had received from the 
Nizam Shahi King, was a sufficient pretext, if pretext 
*was needed, to wage war against Ahmadnagar 
which was torn by internal dissensions. In 1630 A. C. 
the Imperial forces besieged the fortress of Parenda, but 
*soon the siege was raised in the teeth of vigorous 


opposition. Path Khan, Malik Ambar's son, who had 
stepped into his father's shoes, was imprisoned by 
Sultan Murtaza Nizam for his military inefficiency. On 
his release he applied his newly gained liberty to the 
ruin of the Sultanate of Ahmadnagar. At once he 
communicated with Shah Jahan and, on receiving 
instructions from the Emperor, seized the person of 
Sbltan Murtaza Nizam and threw him in prison, where 
he was treacherously done to death. Then he raised a 
young prince, named Hussain Shah, to the throne and 
himself became his regent. In all this he had the 
support of the Mughal Government. Equally quickly 
he proved perfidious to Shah Jahan. He defended the 
fortress of Daulatabad against the Imperialists under 
the command of Mahabat Khan. A strong pressure of 
the Imperial forces, coupled with a tempting offer, was 
sufficient for him to surrender. Path's fall decided the 
fate of Ahmadnagar tor good. The young Sultan Hussain 
Shah Nizam was taken prisoner and sent to the State Prison 
of Gwalior, where he sighed out his life in dark despair. 
The traitor, Path Khan, was amply rewarded for his 
treacherous conduct. He was granted a liberal salary 
and treated with respect. The Nizam Shahl dynasty 
was thus brought to a sad close and the Mughal flag 
was planted on the ruined ramparts of Daulatabad. 
An attempt was made by Shahjl, father of Shivaji, to 
retrieve the fallen fortunes of the Kingdom of Ahmad- 
nagar. He set up a young boy of the Royal family on 
the throne in order tc achieve his object, but the 
Imperialists reduced him to absolute submission. Thus 
Ahmadnagar as an independent kingdom was definitely 



removed from the political map of India in 1636* 
A. C. when its territories were divided between All 
'Adil Shah of Bijapur and Shah Jahan. It may be 
pointed out that the conquest of this kingdom, as also- 
of others in the Deccan, was the real cause of the 
conflict in which Aurangzeb was involved with the 
Hindus of the South. It gave rise to a third power 
the Marhattas who had served under the rulers of 
these kingdoms, but had been cashiered by the Mughal 

Of the five offshoot? of the Bhamni Kingdom, two 
Further were added to the Mughal Empire : 

operations in The Imad Shahi kingdom of Berar 

was annexed by Akbar the Great and 
the Nizam Shahi Kingdom of Ahmadnagar by Shah 
Jahan. As for the Band Shah! Kingdom of Bidar, it 
was automatically reduced to a small principality and 
it ceased to exist as an independent kingdom. The 
remaining two, namely, the 'Adil Shah! Kingdom of 
Bijapur and the Qutb Shahi Kingdom of Golconda, 
were sufficiently strong to hold their own. Of these 
two, the former was more powerful, independent and 
wealthy ; therefore its turn came immediately after the 
annexation of Ahmadnagar. 

When Shah Jahan attacked Ahmadnagar, Sultan 
Muhammad 'Adil Shah of Bijapur 
had ma de common cause with his 
neighbour, Sultan Murtaza Niz5m, lest 
his own kingdom should meet a similar fate. However, 
when Ahmadnagar was annexed to the Mughal Empire, 
the whole brunt of the Imperial forces fell on 'Adil 


Shah who had openly defied the authority of 
Jahan in league with his neighbour, Murtaza Nizam. 
Asaf Khan was deputed by Shah Jahan to conduct the 
campaign against Bijapur. He laid siege to the city, 
but the Bijapuris put up a heroic defence with the aid 
of Marhatta light cavalry which cut off the food 
supplies of the Imperial army and thereby compelled the 
Mughal general to raise the siege without success. 
Thus the independence of Bijapur was saved for the 
time being, though a large part of it was laid waste by 
the Mughals. Further operations against the Bijapuris 
were postponed owing to the death of the 2 ueen ; f r 
the Emperor was then occupied with the construction 
of the Taj in order to immortalise the memory of 
Mumtaz Mahal. 

Hostilities were renewed against Bijapur in 1636 
A. C. when written firmans were 
of Golconda. issued to the Sultans of both Bijapur 

and Golconda, ordering them to 
acknowledge the suzerainty of Shah Jahan, to pay 
tributes to the Central Government regularly, to abstain 
from helping Shahji Bhonsla and from interfering in 
the affairs of Ahmadnagar. Considering the conse- 
quences of defiance and disobedience, the ruler of 
Golconda regarded discretion as the better part of valour. 
He complied with the demands and agreed to the terms 
of the treaty proposed by the Mughal Emperor. 

But the proposals of Shah Jahan fell flat on the 

^ f _ . ears of the ruler of Bijapur, who 

Of Bijapur. J r 

offered a curt refusal. War was 
therefore declared against him without delay. Three 


armies were sent to attack him from three sides : 
Khan Jahan was to aiiack from Sholapur, Khan-i-Zaman 
was to proceed from Indapur, and Khan-i-Dauran was 
to advance from the direction of Bidar in the north- 
east. The territory of Ali 'Adil Shah was encircled on 
all sides but the Imperial generals failed to take the 
capital. They, however, devastated the surrounding 
country, so much so that the Sultan was compelled to 
sue for peace. Negotiations were opened and a treaty 
was concluded with the following clauses: (1) Ali 'Adil 
Shah agreed to owe allegiance to Shah Jahan as his 
vassal. (C) He offered a pe&kasli (present) of twenty 
lakhs to the Emperor. (3) He made a solemn promise 
that he would respect the frontiers of Ahmadnagar. 
(4) Nizam Shahi territories were to be divided between the 
two parties and according to the proposed partition, 
Bijiipur received fifty parganas, yielding twenty lakhs 
of huns or eighty lakhs of rupees. (5) He promised to 
respect the integrity of the Qutb Shahi Kingdom of 
Golconda, the ruler of which had accepted the Imperial 
vassalage. (6) Finally, he agreed to abstain from 
giving further help to Shahji Bhonsla. God and the 
Prophet were made witnesses to the solemn text of 
this treaty and both the parties agreed to abide by its 
clauses on a solemn oath. At the request of the 
Sultan, Shah Jahan sent him his portrait studded with 
precious metals. The ruler of Golconda sent a tribute 
in gold to his overlord, lest he should remain behind his 
' elder brother ' in pleasing his suzerain. The Deccan was 
pacified and the settlement then effected lasted for about 
twenty years. On his return to Agra, Shah Jahan 


entrusted the charge of his conquests of the Deccan to 
his third son, Aurangzeb, who wsj at that time hardly 
eighteen years old. The events of the viceroyalty of 
Aurangzeb will be told in connection with his early 

Next after the Deccan, the recovery of Central 
Shah Jahan's Asian possessions occupied the serious 

Pohcy 11 and "his attention of Shah Jahan. He follow- 

attempts to e d the example of his predecessors 

acquire his . j , , . - , . 

ancestral an d made abortive efforts to acquire 

possessions. Bz\\& an( j Badakhshan, the regions 

associated with the glories of Taimur , and his 
successors. His object was to win fame in distant 
lands. He was encouraged in his undertaking by 
the prosperity of his reign and the flattery of his 
friends. He began with Qandhar, because its possession 
was invaluable to the Emperor of India both on account 
of its strategical position and as a principal commercial 
station lying on the trade-route between Persia and 
India. .Moreover, its situation afforded a strong base for 
military operations against Balkh and Badakhshan, 
which Shah Jahan longed to acquire. 

Said Khan, the Governor of Kabul, was commis- 
sioned by Shah Jahan to reconnoitre 
:1638. Qandhar and to make an estimate of 
its military strength. All Mardan Kban, 
the Persian Governor of that province, was not satisfied 
with the treatment meted out to him by his sovereign. 
He was, therefore, lukewarm in defending the province 
under his charge. The result was that the Imperialists 
advanced upon Qandhar and easily took possession of 


it. The Persian forces were defeated under their general 
who was encamped ~ix miles off Qandhar. A large 
booty passed into the hands of Said Khan and his army. 
All Mardan Khan was received with great kindness by 
Shah Jahan. He was paid one lakh of rupees and 
enrolled as a grandee of the Mughal Empire. 

After the conquest of Qandhar, Shah Jahan turned 
his thoughts towards Balkh and 

Conquest of Badaklishan, the famous dependencies 

Balkn and r 

Baclakhshan. of the Kingdom of Bokhara. In 

conquering these provinces, Shah 
Jahan war actuated with the same motive that of 
conquest. His invasion was well-timed, for both the 
, provinces were in a state of hopeless defence. As a 
natural result of dynastic dissensions, anarchy and 
confusion ruled supreme there. The ruler of Bokhara 
was involved in the difficulties which his rebellious son 
had created for him. Balkh was seething with dis- 
content. A dispute in the Royal family there made 
confusion worse confounded. All this encouraged Shah 
Jahan to interfere in the affairs of Bokhara. In June 
1646 A. C. he sent a huge army under the command 
of his son, Murad, with whom were associated renowned 
generals, including All Mardan Khan, who had an 
intimate knowledge of the Persian country. The 
following month the city of Balkh was occupied 
without opposition, Nazr Muhammad, the King of 
Bokhara, who had fled to Persia, leaving his vast 
wealth to fall into the hand? of the Mugiials, came 
back without securing any support from the Persian 
Emperor, In the scramble that followed his flight, the 


Mughals were able to acquire only a part of the large 
booty, viz., 12,00,000 rupees, 2,500 horses and 300 
camels in all. Caused by the temporary weakness of 
the Uzbegs, the conquest of Balkh was short-lived. 
Prince Murad, who pined for the pleasures of the 
plains, lacked strong determination and therefore could 
not follow up his success with vigour. More than once 
he requested his father to call him back to Hindustan. 
Despite repeated refusals, he returned and his place was 
taken by one Sa'adullah K]]an, who effected the settle- 
ment of the whole country in about three weeks. 
When he went back to Kabul, Shah Jahan ordered 
Aurangzeb and Shuju' to command the Imperial army in 
the proposed campaign against Bokhara, and himself 
proceeded to Kabul to direct operations against the 
enemy. The expedition was very liberally financed, 
but Aurangzeb and his brother, Shuja', encountered a 
serious handicap; they found that their forces were 
outnumbered by those of the Uzbegs. Moreover, the 
Mughal officers in the newly-conquered country were 
not willing to stay there. On the other hand, the 
attractions of Indian social life had a lure which 
they could not resist. Above all, the methods of warfare 
followed by the Uzbegs added to the difficulties of the 
Mughal generals, who were, indeed, far inferior in 
4 Cossack tactics ', which their enemy followed to their 
greatest advantage. But Aurangzeb was a man of 
iron-will and there was nothing that could shake his 
determination. He inflicted a crushing defeat on the 
Uzbegs and entered $alkh in triumph. Investing the 
supreme command of that place in Madhu Singh Had a, 


a Rajput Chief, he set out on his onward march 
towards Aqcha with a view to destroy the Uzbeg hosts, 
who were now hovering round the Imperial forces. 
Desultory fighting continued for some time and the 
Mughals sustained severe hardships. News arrived 
from Balkh that a huge army was advancing from 
Bokhara to oppose the onward march of the Mughal 
army, and Aurangzeb retreated without losing time. In 
the fight that followed, the Mughal musketeers made a 
furious attack on the Bokharan army and won the day. 
Aurangzeb displayed wonderful coolness and courage in 
the thick of the fight and his was the moving spirit 
everywhere. Even amidst the clash of arms he would 
spread his carpet and say his prayers without fear. 
The King of Bokhara was surprised at his presence of 
mind and determined resolve. He was convinced that 
to defy a man of such mettle was to court despair and des- 
truction. Proposals for peace were made and Aurangzeb 
entered Balkh quite safely. Negotiations continued for 
over three months but no permanent peace was patched 
up. Shah Jahan wished to restore the kingdom of 
Bokhara to its ex-King Nazr Muhammad, but at the 
same time he insisted on the condition that Nazr must 
acknowledge him as his suzerain. Between the devil 
and the deep sea, the ex-King sent his grandsons to the 
Mughal Emperor to wait on him and evaded to agree 
to the terms of the treaty proposed by Shah Jahan. 
His personal attendance was excused on the plea of 
his illness. Placing the charge of the city and of the 
fort of Balkh in the hands of Nazr's grandsons, the 
Prince left for Hindustan. On his homeward march he 


was attacked by the Hazaras. With great difficulty he 
reached Kabul with his entourage. This retreat of the 
Imperial army is correctly compared with the retreat of 
the British from Kabul in 1842 A. C. 

Shah Jahan was able to occupy Qandhar in 1638 
A. C. with the aid of All Mardan 

Loss of Qandhar Khan, the governor of that province, 
and three highly ' b * 

expensive but who was not on good terms with the 

Kin S of Bokhara. But the Persians, 
who cherished that province, recover- 
ed it under their new king, Shah Abbas II, who had 
ascended the throne in 1642 A. C. Aurat gzeb, who 
had been appointed to the government of Multan after 
his departure from Balkli, was recalled and ordered to 
conduct an expedition against Qandhar, where the 
Mughal garrison had capitulated after a desperate fight 
which had lasted for nearly two months (1659 A. C.). 
The Imperial army, numbering ten thousand foot and 
sixty thousand horse, advanced upon Qandhar under 
the joint command of the Prince and his associate, 
Sa'adullah Khan, and delivered a furious attack on it. 
The Persians, who had strongly secured their position, 
replied by opening fire on their enemy. The result was 
that after a siege, which lasted for about four months, 
the Mughals retreated. The Prince was called back by 
his father and again appointed to the supreme command 
of the Imperial army. This time the Prince was better 
equipped with the instruments of war. A sum of two 
crores of rupees was put at his disposal in order to 
defray the expenses of the war in a far off land. 
He was assisted by Rustam Khan who had shone in the 


previous fight, Sa'adullah K]?an, the famous Mughal 
general, and his two sons. He laid siege to the fort of 
Qandhar in the beginning of May, 1652 A. C. and 
allotted the Imperial generals their proper places. He 
ordered the Mughal gunners to blow off the ramparts, 
but the Qandharls frustrated their attempts to storm 
the fortress so that they failed to make any breach in 
the walls which were so ably defended. The Persians, 
who possessed a strong park of artillery, ceaselessly 
poured fire on the besiegers, so that a large number of 
them were wounded and transported to the next world. 
The siege was raised after about two months. Annoyed 
at the military inefficiency of Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan 
ordered him u> take over the governorship of the Deccan 
and entrusted the governorship of Kabul to his eldest 
son, Dura, who had poisoned the ears of his father 
against his rival brother and incessantly plotted against 
him. He took permission of his father to renew the 
siege of Qandhar and boasted that he would effect the 
conquest of that place within a week. At the head of a 
huge army, consisting of seventy thousand horse, 
five thousand foot, three thousand Ahadis, ten thousand 
gunners, six thousand sappers and five hundred stone- 
cutters, the braggart, who had boasted, advanced upon 
Qandhar. This huge Imperial army was preceded by 
three thousand horse under the command of Rustam 
Khan Bahadur, Najabat Khan and Qasim Khan as its 
vanguard. The siege commenced in the third week of 
November, 1652 A. C. and continued for full seven 
months. In spite of their repeated attacks, the Mughals 
could not effect a single breach in the walls of the fort. 


On the other hand, they sustained severe losses in nien 
and material. When starvation stared them in the 
face, they regarded discretion as the better part of 
valour and abandoned the third and the last siege of 

Thus it is evident that Shah Jahan's Central Asian 
Policy was a colossal failure. In fact, 
jt was so doomed from the very 

Asian Policy outset. It was not easy to cross the 

and its results. 

Hmdukush in order to conquer Balkn 

and Badakhshan. " To mobilise an Indian army 
through the Hindukush in sufficient numbers for the 
conquest of Central Asia was " says Dr. Ibhwari Prasad, 
" a foolhardy enterprise without any chance of success." 
In the ' fatuous war f in Balkh, four crores of rupees 
was spent in two years and not an inch of its territory 
was annexed to the Mughal Empire. The net 
gain was about twenty-two and a half lakhs of rupees 
which the conquered country yielded. The three sieges 
of Qandhar cost Sh'lh Jahan some twelve crores of 
rupees. The military prestige of Persia was definitely 
established and the repeated repulses of the Mughal 
army and the final retreat of Prince Dara pronounced to 
the world the weakness of the Mughal arms. Buoyed 
up with success against the mighty Mughal Emperor, 
the Persians now entertained ambitious ideas, and 
henceforth the ghost of a Persian invasion of India 
would haunt the minds of the rulers of Delhi 
throughout the seventeenth century. " Such is the 
terrible price ", says Professor Jadunath Sarkar, "which 
aggressive imperialism makes India pay for wars across 


the North-Western Frontier." 

Aurangzeb, the third son of Shah Jahan, was born 

on October 24, 1618 A. C. His 
Early career of f , , , ,, , , . . ,, 

Aurangzeb. father was at that time serving as the 

viceroy of the Deccan. Breaking 
into open rebellion against Jahangir, his father, Shah 
Jahan, was ultimately compelled to surrender in 1625 
A. C. One of the conditions of his submission was 
that he should send his two sons, Dara and Aurangzeb, 
to his father as hostages. The Princes remained under 
the custody of Nur Jahan till 1628 A. C. when Shah 
Jahan ascended the throne and his sons were restored 
to him. Next we hear of Aurangzeb when he tamed 
and controlled an infuriated elephant before the Agra 
Fort and for which his father, who was watching his 
heroic action, rewarded him handsomely. Towards 
the close of the year 1634 A. C., he was granted the 
rank of ten thousand horse. In September of the 
following year he was ordered to accompany the 
Imperial expedition against the Bundelas of Orchha. In 
July of the succeeding year he was appointed to the 
viceroyalty of the Deccan, where he remained for about 
eight years. His charge comprised (1) Daulatabad, 
with Ahmadnagar and other districts, having its capital at 
Ahmadnagar at first and at Daulatabad subsequently ; 
(2) Telingana, with its capital at Nandar ; (3) Kbandesh, 
with its capital at Burhanpur ; and (4) Berar, with its 
capital at Ellichpur. These provinces constituted a 
fairly large country, containing about sixty-four 
fortresses and yielding a yearly income of about five 
crores of rupees. During his first viceroyalty of the 


Deccan, Aurangzeb made some important annexations. 
He reduced the principality of Balgana, with its thirty- 
four parganas and two famous fortresses, Salir and 
Mallr, The ruler of Bharji offered his submission and 
agreed to enter the Imperial Service if he was left 
unmolested in hispargana of Sultanpur. Shah Jahan 
acceded to his request and enrolled him as a Mansabdar 
of three thousand Zat and two and a half thousand 
Sawar, and was also confirmed in his possession of the 
fief of Sultanpur. The Imperial generals, who had 
already been sent by Shah Jahan to the Deccan, 
completed the overthrow of the Kingdom of 
Ahmadnagar, which was finally incorporated in the 
Mughal Empire. They also compelled Shahjl to submit, 
and under their pressure the alleged heir to the Nizam 
Shahl Kingdom was handed over to the Great Mughal 
and thrown in prison. 

In the month of May, 1644 A. C. took place the 

His resignation most r mantic episode of Aurangzeb's 
and renunciation early career, This was his renunciation 
of the world. To all intents and 
purposes, it was brought about by the machinations of 
his eldest brother, Dara, who was interested in making 
his viceroyalty of the Deccan an easy failure. Smarting 
under the undue interference of Dara and Shah Jahan's 
condonation of that interference, he tendered his 
resignation in bitter resentment. Thereupon, his father 
deprived him of all his ranks and allowances. This 
early estrangement between the father and the son was 
bridged through the good offices of Jahan Ara Begum, 
the eldest sister of Aurangzeb. 


Living as a recluse in seclusion for some time, 
Aurangzeb again appeared in the 
public in February, 1645 A. C. and 

governorships simultaneously he was made the 

of different . r ~ . _, , . , , , 

provinces. viceroy or dujarat, which he governed 

to the entire satisfaction of his father. 
From there he was sent to Balkli in 1647 A. C. in order 
to consolidate the position of the Mughals in that 
distant province, and if he failed to accomplish anything 
substantial, it was no fault of his : No amount of effort 
and endurance could ensure success in that inhospitable 
part. The failure against the sturdy North-Westerners 
has become a tradition which the Anglo-Indian rulers 
have maintained by repeatedly risking their men and 
money against them. His attempts to reduce and 
retain Balkh having proved abortive, he retired to Kabul 
in October, 1647 A. C. From there he went to take 
over the government of Multan and Sind, but was soon 
called back to undertake an expedition for the relief of 
Qandhar, which the Persians had at that time 
beleaguered. Unfortunately, he reached Qandhar a 
little too late. Twice he attempted to recover that 
province, but failed, 

Early in the year 1653 A. C. Aurangzeb was 
His second re-appointed to the governorship of 

thC the DeCCan - When he reached 

administrative and assumed the reins of his office. 
achievements. , - , . . , . . , 

he found that large tracts of lands 

had become desolate and the Deccan as a whole had 
become a source of trouble rather than of income. The 
country could not pay its own way and there were 


recurring deficits. Other provinces, such as Malwa 
and Gujarat, bore the brunt of the cost of administra- 
tion. The new viceroy was confronted with a serious 
situation. The land was, so to say, sucked dry, the 
peasantry was in a state of decay and the recurring 
deficits continued to affect the Imperial Treasury every 
year in ever-increasing amount. In order to meet the 
needs of administration without rackrenting the cultivat- 
ing classes, Aurangzeb began to draw on the cash 
reserves deposited in the strongholds of DaulatSbad and 
spent about forty thousand in about two years. The 
low cash balances still continued till at last, at his 
suggestion, Shah Jahan granted him productive jagirs 
which were in the hands of inefficient officers. These 
officers, smarting under the loss of their jaglrs, mis- 
represented the whole situation. They told the Emperor 
that the Prince was too ambitious and the Emperor, 
who was never unmindful of his own rebellion against 
his father, at once believed them and ordered his son to 
take half a lakh worth of less productive land in the 
parganas of Asir and to diminish his cash by the same 
amount so that his actual income might be made 
normal. The Prince exonerated himself by proving the* 
falsity of the allegations. Handling the financial 
situation in a proper way, he devoted his time and' 
energy to ameliorating the economic condition of the 
peasantry of his province, despite the discouragement he 
received from his suspecting father at the instigation of 
vile intriguers. He secured the services of Murshid 
Quli Khan, an exceptionally skilled revenue officer, and' 
with his assistance he extended the approved system of 


survey and revenue assessment over the whole of the 
Deccan. For revenue purposes, the province was 
divided into two main parts : (1) the Balaghat, or High- 
lands, and (2) the Palnghat, or Low-lands. The former 
included one- half of Berfir and the whole of Khandesh ; 
whereas the latter embraced the rest of the country. The 
entire land was measured and the share of the State was 
fixed at one-fourth of the aggregate produce. Alto- 
gether, there were now three revenue systems in vogue 
in the Deccan, viz., (I) In certain backward areas the 
previous practice of apportioning the State demand per 
plough was adhered to, but due allowance was 
made for the difference in the fertility of the soil and the 
yield thereof. (2) The Batal system was followed in 
many places. According to this system,, the share of the 
State was one-half where crops depended absolutely on 
rainfall ; it was one-third where wells irrigated the 
land ; and it was raised high or reduced low, according 
as the local conditions suggested, where irrigation was 
-done by canals, tanks and river-chinnels. <3) Accord- 
ing to the Jarlb system, the whole land was measured 
vrithjartb and the share of the Government was fixed 
according to the kind of the crop sown. Revenue 
officers, similar to those in the North, were appointed 
and the interests of the peasants were properly looked 
after. The arable lands, which had long been neglected 
owing to a long and continuous period of misgovern- 
ment, were restored to cultivation and loans were 
liberally advanced to the cultivators in order to enable 
them to purchase seeds, cattle and agricultural imple- 
ments. In other respects he improved the administration 


of the province under his charge by appointing his own 
men to responsible positions. He increased the pay of 
his military officers and thus ensured their co-operation. 
The results of all these reforms were wholly beneficial. 
Agriculture improved, the peasantry prospered and, as 
Dr. Ishwari Prasad remarks, " the Deccan provinces 
attained a high level of prosperity." 

As mentioned before, operations against Bijapur 

t " r . and Golconda were stopped, because 

His forward . , 

policy against both of them had accepted the 

the Decoan. Imperial vassalage and agreed to pay 

regular tributes to the Emperor. But when Aurangzeb 
was re-appointed to the governorship cf the Deccan, 
they were as independent as ever. Their destruction 
was determined as soon as the new viceroy took over. 
The causes were : (1) the cupidity of the Prince and his 
martial appetite ; (2) the independence of the Sultanates and 
their wealth ; (3) their allegiance to the Shah of Persia 
and. not to the Emperor of Hindustan ; (4) their religion 
(Shia) ; (5) their intimacy with Dara ; (6) the delay in 
remitting tributes which had fallen in arrears. 

To the Prince, who was waiting only for an 
opportunity, the kingdom of Golconda 

offered the first chance ' II S hap " 
pened that Mir Jumla, the Persian 

Prime Minister of Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah, who had 
then fallen out with his sovereign on account of his 
ambitious designs, invoked the assistance of Aurangzeb, 
who accorded him a warm welcome and recommended 
him to his father. The Emperor appointed him to the 
command of five thousand horse and made him a 


member of his son's suite. No better pretext could be 
found than to seek redress for the alleged grievances of 
Mir Jumla. Early in 1656 A. C. Aurangzeb and Mir 
Jumla advanced to demand justice from Sultan 
Abdullah Qutb Shah and entered the city without any 
serious opposition. Once there, they attacked Hyder- 
abad and surprised its king who fled to Golconda, which 
too was soon attacked. So relentlessly did the Prince 
pursue his schemes of conquest that the King of 
Golconda was compelled to pray for peace. According 
to the treaty that was concluded, Abdullah promised to 
pay a crore of rupees and all arrears of tribute to the 
Emperor, to acknowledge Shah Jahan and not the Shah 
of Persia as his suzerain, to cease coining money in his 
own name, and to marry his daughter to the eldest son 
of Aurangzeb. 

Golconda humiliated, the turn of Bijapur came 

next. Imperial permission was ob- 
War against , . , r ,, . t r>-- 

Bijapur. tamed for the conquest of Bijapur 

through the persuasive eloquence of 
Mir Jumlu, and preparations were made for the final 
conquest of that Kingdom. Internal dissensions iiad 
made matters easy for the invaders. The death of 
Sultan Muhammad 'Adil Shah now made confusion 
worse confounded. The fort of Bidar was besieged in 
February, 1657 A. C. and after twenty-seven days* 
investment the city was taken and a large booty ob- 
tained. Next an attack was made on KalyanI which 
capitulated. After a siege of about two months the 
whole country was being overrun by the Mughal 
soldiers and the conquest of Bijapur itself was in sight 


when again orders were received from the Emperor 
for the cessation of hostilities. The additional troops 
supplied to the Prince were recalled and further supplies 
were withheld. Thus came a slip between the cup and 
the lip. The terms of the treaty made with the 
Sultan were as humiliating as those concluded with 
Golconda. An indemnity of one crore of rupees was 
taken from the Sultan and he had to cede Bidar, 
Kalyani and Parenda to the Mughal Empire. Aurangzeb 
had not yet completed the terms of the treaty when the 
illness of his father invited his attention to the North 
and attracted him there to make a bid for f he throne. 



The closing years of the glorious reign of Shah 
Fratricidal war Jahan were darkened by a war of 
and its gem-Ms. succession attending his illness. Since 
he did not appear in the Jharukha (audience window) 
rumours ran afloat that he was dead. He tried to 
allay the disquietude by appearing in the Jharukh'i 
after a week, but the rumours had spread like wild-fire 
and there was nothing that could pacify the people and 
the Princes. Before describing the events of the War of 
Succession, it is necessary to trace its genesis. 

(1) Shah Jahan had four sons: Dara, Shuja', 

Aurangzeb and Murad, each of whom 

Sons of Shah IT- r * 

Jahan and their possessed distinct traits of character, 

charaetei- which had no mean share in deciding 

sketches. ^ rt 

the scramble in his favour or against 

him. All of them had their own claims to the throne. 
Dara was endowed with commendable qualities of head 
and heart. Though he was the heir-designate, his 
chances for succession were few and far between. By 
his frivolous habits, vacillating nature and irascible 
temper he had made many enemies at the Court. He 
was bitterly hated on account of his liberal views. His 
friendship with the Hindus, his intimacy with the 
Christians and his inclination towards the Shia faith 
went against his political interests. Shuja' was a man 


of intelligence and refined tastes. Capable of immense 
energy, he was none the less a slave of his own passions, 
'and his intellect was impaired much by his addiction to 
wine. He too is said to have subscribed to the Stua> 
faith and thereby annoyed the Sunni orthodoxy. Murad 
BakLsh was brave and resolute, but otherwise a 
brainless booby. He was frank to an extent and 
despised diplomacy. He stood little or no chance of 
succession. The real danger was, however, brewing 
further South. Aurangzeb, the third son of Shah 
Jahan, was the ablest of his brothers in point of courage^ 
character and capacity. He was the bean-ideal of a 
soldier cool to conceive, brave to dare and strong to 
do. Skilled in diplomacy and ' a perfect master of the 
art of dissimilation ', he had acquired considerable 
experience in the art of administration. Besides,, 
he had the greatest advantage of being an orthodox 
Sunni Musalman. He had the ungrudged support 
of the Sunni sect with which to counteract the 
opposition of Dara. It is evident that the two most 
serious rivals were Aurangzeb and Dara. The former 
had the support of almost all Musalmans, excluding the 
Shlas, whereas the latter was supported by the Shias, 
the Hindus and other Zimmls. The remaining two 
brothers, Shuja' and Murad, had their own adherents. 
(2) When Shah Jahnn fell ill, the four Princes were 
Division of in possession of different provinces, 

the Empire. haying su ffi cient re5O urces at their 

disposal : Dara was the viceroy of the Punjab and the 
provinces on the North-West ; Shuja' was the governor 
of Bengal and Orissa; Aurangzeb held the command of 


'the Deccan ; and Murad was in charge of the province 
of Gujarat. Thus, each Prince had sufficient cash and a 
.pretty large force at his command, with which he could 
contend against the claims of his brothers. The 
division of the Empire had, in fact, put considerable 
power in the hands of the Princes and enabled them to 
pursue their plans with unremitting efforts. 

(3) The rule adopted by the Mughal Emperors was 

' kingship recognises no kinship ' and 
Mughal tradition , i , i c i j , * 

of 'kingship the struggle for succession had to be 

recognises no fought out to the end of taMit or 

11 ' takltfa, ' crown or coffin '. Babar, 

Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan had all 
iound themselves compelled to contend against the 
rivalry of their nearest relatives, and a disputed 
succession had become a tradition in the Mughal family. 
The fact that the successful claimant would callously 
,put his surviving rivals and all their collaterals to the 
sword made the disputed succession inevitable. It 
goaded the princes to fight even more desperately 
because they knew only too well that in the event of 
defeat their ends would be tragic. Motives of self- 
preservation also pointed to the same path, though 
they were no less actuated by a sense of personal 

(4) On the 6th of September, 1658 A. C. Shah 

Jahan was taken seriously ill 
Empe S ror f a l ncl ** there was no hope of his 

'nomination of recovery. At this time, his eldest son, 

Daraashis ~ ... , . ^ ~ ... , 

:Successor . Dara, was with him at Delhi and was 

faithfully nursing his father at the 


Imperial Court. When the Emperor improved in 
health a little, he called his confidential courtiers 
together and nominated his eldest son as his successor 
in their presence. Such a state of affairs involved the 
question of life and death for the remaining three 
Princes, who were carefully nursing in their bosoms the 
ambitions of securing the succession for themselves. 
They made preparations for the impending war and 
there was nothing that could prevent them from 
carrying out their respective plans. 

(5) In Muslim India, there was no definite law 
Absence of the determining the succession to the 
law of succession. Muslim throne. The principle adopted 
was ' the survival of the fittest '. Though the first- 
born was often allowed to have the strongest claim, yet 
his brother, if any, or a provincial governor, or an 
influential chief, was ever ready to contest his claim, 
if time favoured and means were not lacking. Thus, in 
the absence of a well-defined law, regulating the 
succession to the throne, the illness of Shah Jahan was 
a signal for the outbreak of a fratricidal war. 

(6) The following measures adopted by Dara during 

Dara's behaviour the illness of his father also contri ' 
during the illness buted to the War of Succession to a 
of his father. . , , , , x f 

considerable extent : (*) He took 

guarantees from the Vakils of his brothers, who were 
at the Imperial Court, to the effect that they would not 
submit any news to the Princes about the Emperor and 
his Court, (ii) He closed the roads to Bengal, Gujarat 
and the Deccan, so that the travellers might not 
carry any information to those provinces. (Hi) He 


confiscated the house of 'Alamgir's Vakil stationed at 
the Imperial Court, (iv) He recalled the officers of 
'Alamgir when the latter was engaged in the conquest of 
Bijapur and had almost accomplished the task entrusted 
to him. (v) Before the Princes in the distant provinces 
had stirred, he ordered his forces to march against 
them in order to remove them from his way to the 

(7) The war could be prevented, or at least postponed, 
if Shah Jahan had re-asserted his 
authority immediately after his re- 
covery from his illness. He ought to 
have stopped his sons from making a scramble for 
succession while he was alive. He ought to have 
contradicted the rumours of his death and averted the 
course which events had taken. It is quite possible 
that Dsra kept him uninformed of the consternation 
caused by the rumour of his alleged death; but even 
after the defeat of the Imperial forces in the Battle 
of Dharmat, he did not stir out to oppose Aurangzeb 
who was advancing towards Agra. Granted that he 
was too weak as a result of his illness, but he could 
have convened a council of war to deal with the serious- 
ness of the situation. There were many whose loyalty 
for him was yet unshaken, and he ought to have rallied 
them to his side. But, unfortunately, he behaved in a 
most impolitic way. Misjudging the trend of events 
and miscalculating the strength of the Princes, he shook 
the faith of his other sons in his own sense of justice by 
continuously favouring Dara, the eldest son, in season 
and out of season. 


(8) 'Alamglr, who had kept himself in touch with 

the events occurring at the Imperial 
1 nple Alliance. ~ ., , ,, L r- , i 

Capital through his sister, Rau^han 

Ara Begum, had also formed an alliance with his 
brothers, Shuja* and Murad, in November 1552 A. C. 
In the presence of conflicting accounts, it is impossible 
to tabulate the terms of the triple alliance with any 
preciseness. One thing is, however, clear the three 
brothers agreed to take concerted action in the event of 
danger, and that if anyone of them was attacked by 
Dara, the other two would rush to his Hip. Both 
Dara and Shah Jahan looked upon their growing 
intimacy with grave concern. In order to frustrate 
their efforts and to checkmate their plans, Shah Jahan 
sent secret letters to them through the Khwaja Saras 
(eunuchs), promising his help to 2ach of them against 
the other. This act of setting one brother against the 
other by issuing ' inflammatory letters ' also precipitated 
the crisis.* 

*The correspondence that passed between Shah JahSn and 
his sons is very important. In one of his letters to Shah Jah5n, 
Aurangzeb writes : " Though I have repeatedly made a request 
that the despatch of inflammatory Jetters should be stopped, no 
notice has been taken," (Adab-i- Alamgli -i, 366-a). In another 
leiter he wrote to his father as follows : "I have repeatedly 
asked Your Majesty, that you should stop sending inflammatory 
letters. Though Your Majesty is all wisdom, yet as you have 
clearly written to me that I should not expect such a thing from 
you* I am forced to call the mischievous Khawaja Saras away 
from you". (A dab-i-' Alamglr", 367-a). In a letter to Mahabat 
Khan, Shah Jahan wrote : " My DarS Shikoh will be approach- 
ing Lahore. There is no dearth of treasure at Lahore and men 
and horses are abundant at Kabul. . . It is proper that the brave 
general should hasten to Lahore with an army, and, siding with 


Both Shuja* and Murad crowned themselves in their 
respective provinces the former in 
Bengal and the latter in Gujarat ; they 
coined money in their own names 
and assumed the Imperial titles. As for Aurangzeb, he 
was too calm and clever to do anything of the kind. 
He seized all the ferries on the Narbada and waited for 
an opportune moment. Prince Shuja' was the first to 
mobilize his forces. He set out from Bengal on his 
own behalf, ravaged the districts of Bihar on his way 
and reached Benares on ihe 24th of January, 1658 A. C. 

Dara was not idling away his time either. He 

. 41 , had made ample preparations for the 

Battle of r r r 

Bahadurgarh : struggle for succession which was 

February, 1658. , . , ., ir TT , 

as certain as surety itself. He sent 

a large army undei the command of his eldest son, 
Sulaiman Shikoh, assisted by Mirza Rajah Jai Singh 
Kachwahah in order to oppose the advance of Shuja*. 
The two armies met at Bahadurgarh in February, 1658 
A. C. In a serious battle which was fought, Shuja 1 
was defeated and driven back to his base in Bengal. 

In the meantime, Murad ascended the throne under 
Battle of *ke title of Murawwaj-ud-DIn. The 

Oharmat : Khutba was read and the coins were 

April 1558. . . 

struck in his name. Having collected 

a huge army, he sent a contingent of six thousand horse 

Dara Shikoh Baba, range himself against the two wretched sons, 
punisFPthem for their misdeeds and release me ...... And I have 

written to my eldest son, that giving himself up entirely to him 
(Mahabat Khan), he should think that his welfare lies in obedi- 
ence to that eminent general." (Muntakhib-ul-Lubab, vol. II, 
pp. 3537). For some other similar letters, see Aurangzeb and 
His Times, p. 49 ff. 


for plundering the port of Surat, the appanage of Jahan 
Ara. Aurangzeb, who was playing a waiting game, now 
wrote congratulatory letters to Murad on his success 
in the sack of Surat, He offered him his services 
and requested him to join the troops on the other side 
of the Narbada in order to advance against the Imperial 
Capital. Murad was won over and the two brothers 
joined against the third. Dara was not indifferent to 
the progress of events. He had already dispatched an 
army under the command of Qasim Khan and Rajah 
Jaswant Singh to oppose the advancing troops of 
Aurangzeb and his brother, Murac 1 . A battle was 
fought at Dharmat near Ujjain on April 15, 1658 A.C., 
in which the Imperialists were defeated and the Rajah 
was put to flight along with his Rajput followers. 
The victory increased the prestige of Aurangzeb and 
augmented his resources. The victorious Princes 
pressed on and were able to secure the passage of the 
Chambal and to take their position in the memorable 
plain of Samugarh. 

Annoyed at the military inefficiency of the Hindu 
Rajah and his Musalman colleague, 
Samugarh, Dara decided to take the field in 

May, 1058. person. He was so impatient that he 

could not await the arrival of the flower of Mughal 
chivalry, Sulaiman Shikoh, who had taken the pick of 
the Mughal force with him and had defeated Shuja* at 
the Battle of Bahadurgarh. Having collected a large 
army, whose sympathies were more with Aurangzeb 
than with him, he marched out from Agra to deal with 
the combined forces of Aurangzeb and Murad, without 


listening to the advice of his father. He reached the 
plain of Samugarh towards the close of May with as 
many as fifty thousand strong and engaged himself in a 
death-grapple with his brothers. On one side, the 
Rajputs fought most gallantly, doing honour to their 
race ; on the other side, both Aurangzeb and Murad 
fought in the forefront, risking their lives without any 
fear of death. Both the parties displayed extraordinary 
valour and charged each other with unparalleled 
impetuosity, for they knew full well the consequences 
of a defeat. Hitherto, the Imperialists seemed to have 
the upper hand, but the tables were at once turned 
against them when, in the thick of fight, Dara's elephant 
received a serious wound and he took his seat on a 
horse. This trifling incident decided the fate of the 
battle. For those around him, finding the howdah 
empty, thought that their leader was lost and therefore 
took to their heels. Aurangzeb achieved a decisive 
victory. He now congratulated his brother, Murad, and 
attributed the cause of success to him. Dumbfounded by 
the defeat, Dara and his son, Sipehr Shikoh, returned to 
Agra and reached there late in the night. 

After obtaining the spoils of war, Aurangzeb 

marched upon Agra and entered it 
Fate of Shah .. , . . .. TT 

]ahan. without encountering opposition. He 

encamped himself in the Bagh-i-Nur 
and from there he wrote an arzdasht (petition) to his 
father, seeking his forgiveness for the war which conditions 
and circumstances had forced upon him.* He tried hard 

* " As long as power was vested in your venerable hands ", 
wrote Aurangzeb to his father, Shah Jahan, " obedience was my 


to conciliate his father, and in all probability he would 
have preferred to rule in his name had he not found 
it impossible to gain his confidence or to shake his 
intimate attachment to his eldest son. With studied 
caution, he sent his son, Muhammad Sultan, to take 
possession of the citadel. The Emperor was walled up 
in his palace and kept a close prisoner for full eight 
years. He was treated with great respect and indul- 
gence by Aurangzeb, but was never allowed to come 
out even for a moment, for the clever Prince knew too 
well the consequences of such an impolitic action. To 
make the best of a bad bargain. ShSh Jahan sent 
a sword, called 'Alamgir, to his son as a present. Bent 
in age and broken in health, the mos*. magnificent 
monarch of the Mughal Dynasty passed away in 1666 
A. C. as a captive of his son. 

passion, and I never went beyond my limit, for which the All- 
Knowing God is my witness. But owing to the illness of Your 
Majesty, the prince, usurping all authority and bent upon pro- 
pagating the religion of the Hindus and the idolaters and upon 
suppressing the faith of the Prophet, had brought about chaos 
and anarchy throughout the Empire, and no one had the courage 
to sp*ak the truth to Your Majesty. Believing himself to be the 
rightful ruler, he (D5ra) deposed Your August Majesty, as has 
been mentioned in my previous letters. Consequently, I started 
from Burhanpur, lest I should be held responsible in the next 
world for not providing a remedy for the disorders that were 
cropping up throughout the country. At that time, excepting 
that enemy of the true faith (Dara), siding with whom is a real 
sin, there was no one between us. As victory is never gained 
without God's help, which is the result of true obedience, please 
notice how Divine assistance came to my help. God forbid, 
that with Your Majesty's connivance, the theories of the apos- 
tate (Dara) become translated into practice, and the world get 


In a written compact signed between Murad and 

tr '. f i* *^ Aurangzeb, each brother had under- 
Fate of Murad. 

taken to be true to the other as long 

as nothing was done by either against sincerity and 
singleness of purpose. But after the victory at Samu- 
garb, the former grew jealous of the growing power of 
the latter. He not only cast the contract to the winds 
by secretly submitting his apologies to Shah Jahan and 
by trying to secure the throne for himself, but also by 
entering into a plot against Aurangzeb. He received a 
secret letter* from his father, who, while conferring the 

darkened with infidelity ! 

Under the present circumstances, thanks are due to the 
Master of Fate ror whatever has been brought about ! All that 
I owe to you for my upbringing is far beyond any adequate 
expression of gratitude on the part of my poor self, and I cannot 
on any account forget your kindness and my responsibilities, and 
allow myself, for the sake of this short life, to create any rancour 
in your heart. Whatever happened was due to the will of God, 
and for the good of the country and the nation." (Addb-i-'Alam- 
tftrt, 363-6). 

In another letter to Shah Jahan, he thus explains his 
position : 

" 1 have repeatedly made it clear that, in marching to Agra, 
I had no intention of ousting the King of Islam, and God is my 
witness that such a sinful and unholy thought never entered my 
mind. In the beginning of your illness, when the eldest prince, 
who had no distinguishing features of a Musalman, took up the 
reins of the Government and raised the standard of heresy and 
infidelity, I took upon myself the religious duty of ousting him. 
As Your Majesty, on account of prejudice and unmindful of 
political conditions, wanted the eldest prince to propagate heresy, 

I determined to make a Jihad against him." (Adnb-i-Alamgiri, 

*The text of the letter, as reproduced by Muhammad Ma'sum 
in his Tarikh-i-Shah Shujai, is as follows : 

" I have confened the sovereignty of the whole of India on 


sovereignty of the whole of Hindustan on him, assured 
him of his help and directed him to invite his brother, 
Aurangzeb, and his son to his camp on the pretext of a 
banquet and 'see the last of them'. The letter was 
conveyed through a confidential servant, but in a state 
of absent-mindedness, Murad placed it in a book, and, 
when accidentally discovered by one of his servants, it 
was handed over to Aurangzeb. Thus, by a curious 
irony of fate, Murad was caught in the trap in which 
Aurangzeb and his son were to be caught by him at 
the suggestion of Shah Jahan. He was invited to a 
feast by his brother, Aurangzeb, in the manner suggest- 
ed to him by Shah Jahan. When he drank himself 
disgracefully in the feast, he was seized and spoken to 
by his brother upon his impiety and intemperance and 
declared unfit to occupy the Muslim throne. He was 
soon bound in chains and sent to the state prison of 
Gwalior, where, on a charge of murder, he was executed 
in 1661 A.C. 

Entrusting the task of capturing Dara Shikoh to 

his trusted officers, Aurangzeb turned 
FateofShuja'. ,. . ' , c ._ , 

his attention towards Shuja who, 

after his defeat in the Battle of Bahadurgarh, had taken 
to flight, but was again in the field to make another bid 
for the throne. After his coronation, Aurangzeb 

my illustrious son (Murad). I enjoin you to be most careful and 
patient in this matter and not to divulge this secret to anyone, 
however intimate. After a few days, invite your brother (Aurang- 
zeb) and his son to your camp on the plea of a banquet and see 
the last of them ; and then have the Khutba recited in your name, 
and assume the Imperial title, which I bestow on you of my own 
free will. You should perform this important task with the 
greatest caution." (Tarihh-i-Shah Shiijai by Muhammad Ma'sum.) 


marched against him and inflicted a sharp defeat on 
him at Khgjwah on January 5, 1659 A. C. The 
defeated Prince was hotly chased by Mir Jumla. Driven 
to different places, he ultimately took rest in ArakSn, 
where he was killed by the Maghs in 1660 A.C. 

Meanwhile, Aurangzeb's officers were busy in 
Date's last pursuing Dara*. They were hunting 

tJag?c a fate. iS the unfortunate Prince from place to 

place. Chased into Kathlawar, he 
was brought to bay near Ajmer, where he took his 
position and tried to defend himself as strongly as he 
could. He put up uch a vigorous defence that for 
four days Aurangzeb could not dislodge him from his 
position. On the fifth day, however, he was defeated 
through the treachery of Daler Khan, who had promised 
to leave Aurangzeb and to join him. Deserted by all of 
his nobles, except one Firoz Mewati, Dara took the 
road towards Ahmadabad. He was accompanied by a 
few faithful followers, including his son, Sipehr Shikoh, 
his daughter, and some other women. On his way, he 
enlisted a few fugitives ; but the inhabitants of the 
country harassed him by pillaging his baggages, for he 
still had some jewels and money with him. When he 
reached the city of Ahmadabad, the governor in charge 
of the castle closed the gates against him. With the 
help of a notorious robber, named KanjI Koli, he 
reached Cutch. The Zamlndar of that place, who had 
promised to marry his daughter to his son, now refused 
him all help. In dire distress, D^ra proceeded towards 
Sind to seek shelter there. Skirting along Sind, he was 
deserted by his friend and follower, Firoz Mewati. To 


add to his sorrow, the only source of solace and strength 
for him was snatched away from him his most favourite 
wife, Nadir a Begum, who died of dysentery. " Mountain 
after mountain of trouble thus pressed upon the heart 
of Dara," says KhafI Khan, " grief was added to grief and 
sorrow to sorrow, so that his mind no longer retained 
equilibrium." At last he took refuge with Malik Jiwan 
Khan who betrayed him into the hands of the Imperial- 
ists sent by Aurangzeb to pursue him. He was taken 
prisoner and sent to Lahore and then to Delhi. There 
he was sentenced to death on the charge of apostasy. 

Sulaiman Shikoh, the eldest son of Dara, fought 
Fate of Sulaiman faithfully for his father during his 

fu S itive life > but he could not J oin him 
in his last stand against Aurangzeb 

near Ajmer. He was pursued by Shaista Khan, uncle 
of Aurangzeb, and driven into Garhwal, where he took 
refuge with its Rajah, who made him over to the 
Imperial officers. He was then conveyed to Delhi, 
seated on an elephant, paraded through the city 
and then thrown in the state prison of Gwalior, where 
he died in 1662 A.C. Next, Aurangzeb turned his 
attention towards the surviving sons of his brothers. On 
one pretext or the other he put them to the sword or 
threw them into prison. Only two Princes, viz., Sipehr 
Shikoh and Azad Bakhsh, were spared and married to 
the third and fifth daughters of Aurangzeb, respectively. 
Aurangzeb imprisoned even his own son who had 
married a daughter of Shah Shuja* and foi whom he 
showed some affection. 


The motives which actuated Aurangzeb to enter 

m . upon *he Fratricidal War have been 

Motives which 
actuated Aurang- variously described. Only the more 

** be P here:- 
(1) Shuja' and Murad had already 
declared their independence and the War of 
Succession had become inevitable. As usual, it was 
expected that the successful prince would slaughter his 
rival brothers without feeling remorse or compassion. 
In the interest of his own safety, Aurangzeb could not 
but enter the war. (2) There was no love lost between 
Dara and A n rangze*x The former was bent upon 
stigmatising the latter in the eyes of the people and the 
Emperor. It will be remembered that while Aurangzeb 
was in charge of the Deccan, Dara was trying to ruin 
his reputation. With a hostile brother on the throne, 
Aurangzeb's position can be better imagined than 
described. All this and Dara's undue interference in 
his affairs must have actuated Aurangzeb to decide 
upon that course of action. (3) Under the circum- 
stances, when Shah Jahan nominated Dara as his 
successor, Aurangzeb's anger must have known no 
bounds. The fact that Dara concealed the news about 
his father and prevented them from reaching his brothers 
further annoyed Aurangzeb. It made it easy for the 
Princes to leave the Emperor out of account and to take 
his death for granted. (4) Aurangzeb was an orthodox 
Muslim. Dara's latitudinarianism must also have 
influenced Aurangzeb in choosing his course. Muhammad 
Kazim, the author of the 'Alamgirnamah, voiced the 
views of Aurangzeb and his partisans about Dara's 


unfitness to occupy the Muslim throne when he wrt>te : 
" If Dara Shikoh obtained throne and established his 
power, the foundation of the faith would be in danger 
and precepts of Islam would be changed for the rant of 
infidelity and Judaism/' (5) Personal ambition 
also played a prominent part in the chalking out of 
his programme. 

All that has been said, if it excuses Aurangzeb's 
participation in the Fratricidal War, does not excuse his 
deliberate diplomacy therein. But it must be pointed 
out that without resorting to such diplomatic actions as 
he did, his fate, and with it the fate of Islam in 
India, would have been different. 

Contemporary chroniclers, such as Muhammad 
Causes of his Kazim and others, ascribe Aurang- 

success in the zeb's success in the War of Succession 

Fratricidal War. , ,. . 7 ., , , *i j 

to his iqbal, or luck. The modern 

mind is not satisfied with this answer. It tries 
to find other explanations of his success than this. 
In the first place, Shah Jahan's own weakness and 
incapacity contributed to the success of Aurangzeb 
more than anything else. Immediately after his 
recovery, the old Emperor should have exerted his 
authority and stopped his sons from snatching away 
power from his hands. He ought to have contradicted 
the news of his death and averted the course of events 
in his own favour. If he had acted with prudence, 
he could have helped his favourite son, Dara, to the 
throne. He was still popular and he would have elicited 
support from all sides. He should have resumed the 
reins of his office in his own hands after his recovery, 


curbed the ambitions of his other sons ; and then 
enthroned Dara, if he so desired. But, unfortunately, 
he entirely misunderstood the situation and remained 
passive. While Aurangzeb, Murad and Shuja* were, 
after full preparations, marching against the Imperial 
Capital, he was dissuading Dara from fighting, telling 
that no harm could accrue from their coming to the 
Capital. Thus, if the Emperor was deprived of his 
throne after the defeat of Dara and if Dara could not 
succeed him, Shah Jahan must share the onus of 
responsibility in no small measure. Secondly, Dara 
was not a great general himself. His army was 
composed of rc.w levies. Besides, there was an utter 
lack of co-operation between the Rajputs and the 
Muslims, who constituted the huge bulk of his army. 
The former were not wanting in valour, but their 
heroic attempts were cruelly frustrated by their peculiar 
notions of precedence and prestige. The latter were 
corrupt and unfaithful. Their sympathies were 
more with Aurangzeb, a staunch Sunni, than with 
Dara. Dara's arrogance of temper and hasty disposition 
also produced many difficulties for him. His son, 
SulaimSn Shikoh, was in Bengal with the pick of the 
Imperial army. He did not wait for it but advanced 
to meet Aurangzeb in spite of the advice of his father. 
This was a blunder of the first magnitude. The error 
committed by him in dismounting from the elephant 
and riding a horse instead, comoleted the disaster.* 

*Authors of the 'Alamgirnamah, Zafarnamah and Tdrikh~i- 
Shahjahani assert that this fatal exchange of horse for 
elephant was occasioned by the fact that the elephant had 


Thirdly, it was not easy to meet a man of Aurangzeb's 
type, a dexterous diplomat and an excellent general who 
outdistanced his rivals in the war on account of his 
superior military tactics. His forces were thoroughly 
organized, efficiently equipped and strictly disciplined. 
He kept a part of his army in reserve and put 
it in the field when Dara's troops lay exhausted. As a 
Champion of the Sunni Orthodoxy, he ceaselessly played 
upon the alleged apostasy of his rival brother, and con- 
stantly drew men from his ranks to his own side. He 
openly boasted of having his friends in the ranks of his 
opponent. He fully availed himself of his artillery 
when his foolish brother, Dara, advanced beyond his 
own artillery and thus rendered it useless. 

Thus, it is evident that Aurangzeb's " victory in 
the war of succession was the victory of action over 
supineness, of intrepidity over inertia, and of organiza- 
tion and discipline over confusion and incoherence." 

AH Mardan Khan was a Persian governor of Qand- 
Partly because he was not 

<*i m* j- r^u 

'Ali Mardan Khan. . , ., 

~ satisfied with the treatment of the 
Shah of Persia and partly on account of the pressure 
which 3h&h Jahan brought to bear upon him, coupled 
with the temptation of gold, he surrendered the fort of 
Qandhar to the Mughal officers. He was granted one 
lakh of rupees and enrolled as a grandee of the Mughal 
Empire. Later, his mansab was raised to six thousand 

become a target for the attacks of the enemy. Bernier and 
Niccolao Munucci, on the other hand, assert that the change was 
caused by the treacherous advice of Khalil-uliah Khan, given to 
Dara when Aurangzeb's defeat was almost in sight. 


Zat and six thousand Sawar, and at different times he 
was appointed governor of Kabul and Kashmir. He 
carried on the administration of these provinces so well 
that His Majesty was pleased to raise his rank to seven 
thousand Zat and seven thousand Sawar, and conferred 
upon him the governorship of the Punjab in addition. 
In 1644 A. C. he was sent at the head of an expedition 
to Balkh where he achieved a partial success. He was 
an experienced general and a skilled engineer. The 
canal which he brought from the Ravi to the city of 
Lahore and the Shalamar Gardens are an imperishable 
index to his engineering skill. 

Asaf Khan's original name was Abdul Hasan. He 
was the son of Itlmad-ud-Daulah and 
brother of Malika Nur Jahan. He 
entered the Imperial Service under Akbar and rose to a 
high position during the reign of Jahangir, but he 
reaped a rich harvest of honours and distinctions at the 
accession of Shah Jahan to whom he had married his 
daughter, Mumtaz Mahal. We have seen how he suc- 
cessfully checkmated the plans and intrigues of his 
sister and helped Shah Jahan to the throne. In appre- 
ciation of his services, he was honoured with the title of 
Yamin-ud-Daulah or ' Right-hand of the State', and a 
jaglr was granted to him. The Jaglr brought him 
about fifty lakhs a year. His rank was raised to nine 
thousand Zat and nine thousand Sawar, and a little later 
he became the Prime Minister of the Empire. He acted 
as the principal agent of the Emperor in his diplomatic 
negotiations and his advice was sought in all the serious 
matters of the Government He remained attached to 


Shah Jahan throughout his life and never betrayed the 
confidence reposed in him by his Sovereign. The stress 
and strain of official duties having considerably told upon 
his health, he retired from his official career and quietly 
passed away at Lahore in 1641 A. C. According to 
his will, the vast riches, which he had accumulated 
during his official career, were confiscated to the 

Sa'ad-ullah Khan was a man of humble origin. He 
came of very poor parents. His vast 
1 " reading had givon him .an unusual 

amount of general knowledge. In 
1640 A. C. he entered the Imperial Service and was 
paid a monthly salary. Soon a ntansab was granted to 
him and during the course of a year he became an 
officer, enjoying a mansab of one thousand Zat and two 
thousand Sawar. For some time he worked as 
Darogha (Superintendent) of the Imperial Gbusalfehana 
(Bath) and was subsequently promoted to the post of 
Khan-i-Satnan, or Lord High Steward. The Emperor 
appreciated his ability by making him his Prime Minister 
and raising his rank to seven thousand Zat and seven 
thousand Sawar. He served the State most faithfully 
and is justly regarded as the most upright and straight- 
forward minister known to India. He was often 
employed as a military commander and settlement- 
officer. He continued to rise in Royal favour and 
acquired immense power and influence. He had a very 
hjgh conception of his duties and be it said to his 
credit that he fell little short of it. 


The administrative system of Shah Jahan was 
almost exactly the same as that of his 
predecessors, rather it was more 
efficient and exhibited a marked im- 
provement on the previous system. In fact, what Akbar 
had aimed was achieved by Shah Jahan in the realm of 
administration. Peace within the country was un- 
interrupted, the revenue of the State was ever on the 
increase and every department of the State was un- 
remittingly active. The people were happy and pros- 
perous. Justice was carefully administered and pro- 
vincial governors were warned to be honest in their 
dealings witli the people under their sway. All this 
bears eloquent testimony to a just, wise and vigorous 
administration. Foreign travellers, such as Bernier, 
Tavernier, Niccolao Manucci and Peter Mundi, speak 
of the gracious rule of Shah Jahan as that of a father 
over his children ; the Muslim historian Khafi Khan, 
compares him with Akbar and points out that whereas 
the latter was pre-eminent as a conqueror and law-giver, 
the former was pre-eminent as an administrator ; and a 
Hindu contemporary outshines even the Muslim chroni- 
cler and the Christian travellers in extolling the efficiency 
of his administration. Here again Banthamite demo- 
cracy was in its full swing, for every attempt was 
made to secure ' the greatest happiness of the greatest 

Shah Jahan was not made for the glories of con- 

rrTs g und\rh?s ne quest ; he re S arded war as inhuman 
patronage, and was not a great general himself, 


though he had won splendid victories in his 
early career during the reign of his father. 
His reign was essentially a period of peace in 
which literature flourished, education made mighty 
strides, and architecture, painting, poetry and music 
progressed by leaps and bounds. What gave a fillip to 
these fine arts was Shah Jahan's catholicity of mind, 
which soured above the snares of sectarian psychology, 
and appreciated and encouraged true worth from what- 
ever sources it was evinced. The splendour of his 
Court and the glory of his re^gn, with all their dazzle 
and oriental colour, are a by-word to everyone who 
has even a nodding acquaintance with Indian history. 
Though much has been irreparably destroyed, yet there 
remains enough of the Mughal art under Shah Jahan to 
give us an idea of that glorious period and the standard 
of Mughal civilization. Is there a soul that will not be 
stirred to its depths at the ethereal beauty and grandeur 
of the Taj ; or does not recognise the literary elegance and 
historical importance of the Bcid&ahnamah, ever a 
treasure-house of research for the ambitious historian ; 
or does not go into ecstacies over the miniature and 
portrait paintings of that period; or does not have an ear 
for the melodious voice of Ram Das and Mahapattar, the 
Philomels of the Mughal Court? "The Imperial 
patronage", says Prof. K. T. Shah, "was no longer the 
monopoly of the poet or the painter ; but every kind of 
artist was recognised and encouraged; giving us, in 
consequence, those wonderful creations, which, like the 
Taj and Delhi Palace and the several mosques, must 
for ever immortalize the name of *he Imperial patron." 


The reign of Shah Jahan is rendered memorable 

A . . . in history for the excellence of its 

Architecture J 

architecture. In this hurried survey 
it is impossible to enter into the canons of this art or 
to attempt a description of public buildings erected 
under the Imperial patronage. The Taj alone demands 
a volume to itself. Standing majestically on a square 
platform of virgin marble with a beautiful screen of 
trellis-work, crowned with a fine dome above and 
consecrated by a pair of tombs below, surrounded by a 
domed apartment of tv/o storeys in each corner and 
connected with one another by a number of halls and 
passages, \uth its main mansion lighted by a double 
screen of trellis-worked marble, one on the inner and 
one on the outer side of the wall, guarded at its corners 
by four lofty tnlnars of milky marble, rearing its 
stately head above its jewelled walls and lace-carved 
windows also of creamy marble, this superb structure, 
an ethereal beauty the Taj nay the Queen of 
Architecture, a dream in marble, designed by Titans 
and finished by jewellers, placed in a beautiful garden 
with two masjids on either side, on the brink of the 
Jumna presents a most picturesque view and refreshes 
the awe-struck eyes of the native as well as foreign 
sight-seers. ' Those critics who have objected to the 
effiminacy of the architecture (Taj) unconsciously pay 
the highest tribute to the genius of the builders. The 
Taj was meant to be feminine. The whole conception, 
and every line and detail of it express the intention of 
the designers. It is Mumtaz Mahal herself, radiant in 
her youthful beauty, who still lingers on the banks of 


the shining Jumna, at early morn, in the glowing 
midday sun, or in the silver moonlight. Or rather, 
we should say that it conveys a more abstract thought ; 
it is India's noble tribute to the grace of Indian 
womanhood the Venus de Milo of the East/ The 
marble Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque within the Agra 
Fort), described as ' the purest and loveliest house of 
prayer in the world ', with its vast dimensions, 
shadowed aisles and sanctuary, all dressed in marble ; 
the Diwan-i-Khas (Court of Private Audience) over- 
looking the Jumna, itself a masterpiece of delicacy, 
elegance and poetic design ; the Diw^.n-i-'Ar" (Court of 
Public Audience), with its exquisitely ornamented 
ceiling supported by a row of richly jewelled columns, 
a magnificent niche at the centre and a marble platform, 
lavishly inlaid with precious stones and once the seat 
of the Peacock Throne, with ite, tail blazing in the 
shifting colours of rubies, saphires and emeralds, testi- 
fying to the fact that a lord of artists sat on that 
throne; the gorgeous Rang Mahal with its garden-court, 
containing His Imperial Majesty's recreation chambers; 
the most wonderful baths, fed by a canal worked out 
from the Jumna; and the Jama Masjid at Delhi, con- 
structed on a rocky platform and finished in full six 
years, are the finest Mughal monuments of that glorious 
age of Indian history. 

Shah Jahan was an ardent lover of painting. 

Under him, miniature and portrait 

Painting. r 

painting underwent a good deal of 

elaboration. It was considered incomplete unless a 
most beautiful border of birds and butterflies, flowers 


and foliage was dexterously woven into the main theme. 
The best painter at the Court- of Shah Jahan was 
Muhammad Nadir Sarnarqandl. It may be remarked 
here that, like all other Mughal Emperors, Shah Jahan 
was also a painter himself and a past-master in the art 
of illuminating manuscripts. 

We learn it from the Mirat-ul-Alam that Shah 
Music Jahan was also a good singer, and 

Dr. N. N. Law says that he was ' a 
great patron of music '. The two most prominent 
singers attached to his Court were Rum Das and 
Mahapatt?-, whc^e mention has already been made in 
a previous chapter. They were rewarded for their 
services without cavil in the Mughal Darbars. Professor 
Sarkar says that the Emperor also spent some portion of 
his time * in listening to songs by women '. This shows 
that there were also female singers at the Imperial Court. 
Shah Jahan had a fine taste for gardens. Almost all 
G , j his buildings contained beautiful 

gardens, or ' terrestrial paradises ' 
as they have been styled. The Shalamar Garden 
extolled so much in Moor's Lala Roolth at Lahore; 
the gardens in the Delhi Fort ; the Taj Mahal Gardens ; 
the Shalamar Bagh at Delhi and Dara Shikoh's Garden 
at Kashmir were the most voluptuous of their class in 
the Mughal Empire. Even Bernier does not hesitate to 
admire them. Some of them have survived to our own 
times'andjthey do not fail to attract our attention. 

We can hardly over-estimate Shah Jahan's literary 
Shah'lahan's interest. He always tried to widen 

philomathy. his mental horizon by studying the 


best authors of Persian literature. He was very fond 
of history and used to hear the recitation of books * on 
travel, lives of prophets and holy men, memoirs and 
autobiographies of sovereigns famous in history. 
Among these books, the Life of Taimur and the 
Memoirs of Babar were his special favourites. When 
he retired to bed, we learn, good readers sat behind 
a curtain which separated them from the Imperial 
bed-chamber, and read him to sleep. 

Himself a cultured king and a refined scholar, 
Shah Jahan was a distinguished 
patron of letters. He used to grant 
stipends and scholarships to literary 
plodders and awarded honoraria to the superannuated. 
One day Abdul Hakim Sialkoti was rewarded his 
\\eight in silver. The celebrated Bad^iahnamah 
was written by Muhammad Am T n-i-QazwInI under his 
own direction. Some of the most famous poets and 
scholars of his reign were Maulana Muhib All Sayyadl, 
Mir Abdul Qasim Irani, Mirza Zia-ud-Din, Sayyad 
Bukhari Gujrati, Shaikh Bahlol Qadirl, Shaikh Mir 
Lahorl, Shaikh Nazlrl, KJbwajah Khwand Mahmud and 
Mullah Muhammad Fazil Badakhshl. 

During the reign of this Magnificent Mughal 

Monarch all the educational institu- 

onearnmg. tions with their vast endowments 

created by the previous kings, 

courtiers and private individuals, continued in 

undiminished prosperity. Besides, we know for certain 

that His Majesty himself added to the existing number 

of schools and colleges in his Empire. He repaired 


and reconstructed Dar-ul-Baqa, or the Abode of 
Eternity a magnificent madrasah which had been 
entirely ruined. In Ib50 A, C. he founded the famous 
Imperial College at Delhi in the vicinity of the historic 
Jama Masjid. 

Shah Jahan, who succeeded Jahanglr, rose to 

Character and be the most <nificent member of 

estimate of Shah his most magnificent house, 'excelling 
* c an ' all his contemporaries in culture and 

refinement/ With all his magnificence and splendour, 
he was never arrogant. According to Mr. Stanley 
Lane-Poole, * no other Mughal Emperor was ever so 
beloved as Shah Jahan'. He was kind and sympathetic 
and his benevolence had endeared him to his subjects. 
He was a staunch Sunni, deeply devoted to his 
religious as well as secular duties. The most remarkable 
trait of his character was, however, his love for his wife, 
Mumtaz Mahal, the lady in whose memory he never 
married. As a son, he was a great source of trouble 
and anxiety to his father ; as a father, he was woefully 
wanting in discipline. His partiality for his eldest son 
was greatly responsible for his troublous old age. But 
his patience was marvellous. For eight years he remained 
a captive of his son and calmly bore the privations 
of that life. He was a great administrator, whose good 
government has exacted universal praise and admiration. 




(1658 A. C. 1707 A. C.) 
Early Acts, Afghans, Hindus and Rajptus 
After removing his rivals from his way, Aurangzeb 
had ascended the throne of his father 

Accession Of ri/ioi/:eoA^ j i r i 

Aurangzeb. on J ul y 22, 1658 A. C. and deferred 

the formal coronation to a future 
date. On the 5th of June, 1659 A. C. he enthroned 
himself with due ceremonials. The Khuiba was read 
and the coins were struck in his name, and he assumed 
the pompous title of Abul-Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Dln 
Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur 'Alamgir Badshah-i- 
Gbazi. The bestowal of high honours on the members 
of the Royal family and the grant of promotions and 
re wards to the rank and file inaugurated, as usual, the new 
reign in the right oriental manner. Of the Royal Princess- 
es, Badshah Begum received Rs. 5,00,000 ; Zeb-un-Nisa, 
Rs. 4,00,000; Badr-un-Nisa, Rs. 1,60,000; and Zubdat- 
un-Nisa, Rs. 1,50,000. Among the Princes, Muhammad 
'Azarn was granted Rs. 2,00,000 and a mansab of 
10,000; Muhammad Sultan, Rs. 3,00,000, with jewels 
and elephants ; Muhammad Mu'azzam, Rs. 2,00,000, 
and Muhammad Akbar, Rs. 1,00,000. Among the 
high officials, Amlr-ul-Umara Fazil Khansaman, Saad- 
Ullah Khan and Rajah Ragnath were the recipients 
of robes of honour and rich rewards. In short, the 


coronation was made an occasion of great happiness. 
Feasts and festivities continued for full two months 
and nothing was spared ' to make the occasion a 
source of happiness to all sections of the populace in the 
empire*. Ambassadors came from other Muslim 
countries and congratulated Aurangzeb for his success 
in securing the throne of India for himself. They were 
received with great respect and presented with rich 
robes and rupees eight thousand each. Besides them, 
the Dutch and the French Governments also sent their 
representatives to the Mughal Court, and they too were 
given a warm welcome by Aurangzeb and treated with 
due deference. Thus, by the time Shah Jahan died, 
his son, Aurangzeb had been recognised as the Emperor 
of India by all potentates. 

The War of Succession had thrown the machinery 

lf of the Mughal administration out of 

His early acts. ~ , , i 

gear. Consequently, the people were 

distressed and discontented. They were subject to 
several taxes, legal as well as illegal. In order to 
alleviate their sufferings, Aurangzeb abolished as many 
as eighty oppressive taxes, including the rahdari (toll) 
and pandarl (a kind of ground or house-tax). He 
also remitted the duty on corn so that the price of 
food should go down. Among the eighty taxes 
which he abolished were those collected at the fairs 
celebrated in honour of Muslim saints and Hindu 
pilgrims near their temples, and those levied on alcohol, 
gaming-houses and brothels. In order to bring the 
law into !ine with the tenets of Islam, the new Emperor 
dispensed with the solar system altogether and 


introduced the lunar instead ; he disallowed the use 
of the Kalima on the coins with a view to prevent 
their defilement, put an end to the Nauroz which was 
a Persian custom, repaired and even reconstructed the 
mosques and monasteries which were in a state of decay 
and appointed paid Imams and Mu'azzins to serve 
therein. The Mohtasibs (censors of public morals) were 
warned to be very strict in the enforcement of the 
Holy Law. In short, Aurangzeb tried his best to 
advance the interests of Islam and his solicitude for 
Sunnisrn won for him the title of the champion of hi* 
faith, and he is recognised as such even to the present 

Among the early acts of Aurangzeb may be 

A . mentioned the changes he effected 

Appointments and & 

transfers oi pro- in the provincial governments and 

vmcial governors. ,, . c r .. , ,. 4 

the transfers of the viceroys stationed 

there. Conscious of the consequences of the treatment 
he had meted out to his father and brothers and 
apprehensive of the possibility of a combination against 
him, he began to work for their reconciliation or removal, 
as he*thought fit, immediately after his accession to 
the throne. To all those who had helped him in the 
achievement of his object, he tendered his thanks and 
made^valuable presents. The pay of a number^of nobles 
was increased^and a new set of robes was ^ bestowed on 
each of them. Many of the old governors and viceroys 
were cashiered ''and new ones were appointed at their 
places. Rajah Jai Singh was entrusted with the govern- 
ment of Sambhar in addition to that of Lahore, which 
he was already governing. Shaista Kban was invested with 


the governorship of the Deccan. Mahabat Khan was 
superseded by Shaikh Mir in Kabul and sent to take 
over the government of Gujarat. Danishmand Khan 
was made the governor of Delhi. Khalllullah of 
Lahore, Mir Baba of Allahabad, Lashkar Kban of 
Patna, Dianat Khan of Kashmir, and Allahwardi Khan's 
son who had betrayed Shah Shuja' at Khajwah, was 
appointed governor of Sind. All this was done to 
prevent the possibility of a dangerous combination and 
the arrangement was quite efficacious. 

Mir Jumla, we learn, <was a Persian adventurer, who, 
Career of by c^int of his character and ability, had 

Mir Jumla. made himsel f the Chie f Minister of the 

Kingdom of Golconda. Taking advantage of his high 
position and influence, he had carved out for himself in 
the Karnatic, an independent kingdom or and imperium 
in the imperio. No wonder if the Sultan of Golconda 
regarded this as an encroachment on his authority and 
therefore intrigued to deprive him of all his power and 
influence. The Minister saved himself by joining hands 
with Aurangzeb and taking service under Shah Jahan. 
He rendered very valuable services to Aurangzeb in his 
Deccan campaigns and in the War of Succession. In 
view of his indispensable assistance, he was appointed 
governor of Bengal. It was probably because he was 
too ambitious a man to be kept at the Capital that he 
was sent to that distant governorship. 

Under their Rajah, the Ahoms of Kuch-Bihar and 

His expedition Ass * m attacked the Mughal territory 

against Assan. and occupied it. An expedition was 

and his death. Rgjah 


Jumla at its head. The Mir overran Kuch-Bihar, and 
Assam and penetrated far into the interior of the 
country, presumably with the intention of attacking the 
Chinese territory. But his supplies were cut off when 
torrential rains and heavy floods set in and prevented 
his grandiose schemes of conquests to be carried to 
their logical conclusion. When pestilential disorder 
broke out in his camp, he altogether renounced his 
magnificent projects notwithstanding the reinforcements 
he received from the Emperor, and contented himself 
with obtaining such contributions and cessions from 
the Rajah as might serve a proof against the disgrace 
of a defeat. Exhausted by toil at a very advanced 
age and ruined in health, he returned and died at 
Khizrpur in Kuch-Bihar on March 31, 1663 A. C. 
before reaching Decca. His son, Muhammad Amin, 
was immediately raised to a high rank and all honours 
and positions, which the deceased had held, were 
conferred upon him by Aurangzeb. 

Shaista KJran succeeded Mir Jumla to the 
governorship of Bengal and resumed 

the forward P lic y of his Predeces- 
sor. The new governor began by 
punishing the pirates of Chittagong and their patron, 
the Rajah of Arakan. He inflicted sharp defeats on 
his enemy and captured the Magh outposts by the end 
of the year 1665 A. C. Chittagong was occupied 
about the end of January, 1666 A. C. and it was 
renamed Islamabad. Henceforth it became the seat 
of a Mughal Faujdar. The island of Sondip in the 
Bay of Bengal was also captured and Bengal was saved 


from the recurring raids of the pirates. Sbaista Khan 
organized the Mughal -flotilla and strengthened the 
Bengal fleet by constructing a large number of ships for 
the protection of the Dacca Sub-Division. 

Aurangzeb was taken seriously ill in 1664 A. C. soon 
after the fifth anniversary of his 
accession. This shook the new 
regime to its foundations. Rumours 
ran afloat that Rajah Jaswant Singh, Mahabat Khan 
and many others were redoubling their efforts for releas- 
ing Shah Jahan from his captivity. The partisans of the 
ex-King renewed their 1 intrigues at the Capital in order 
to work out his restoration ; but unfortunately, they were 
soon divided into two main parties those who wanted 
to enthrone Mu'azzam, Aurangzeb's second son, and 
those who wished to secure the succession for his third 
son, Akbar. On the fifth day of his illness, however, 
Aurangzeb raised himself up and received the homage 
of his principal officers. He sent a firman to his sister, 
Raushan Ara Begum, to return the great-seal, which 
had been commended to her care, and put it near 
himself so that no use might be made of it except with 
his special order. He averted the dangers with his 
rare presence of mind and singular force of will. On 
these occasions he behaved with studied caution and 
the respect and admiration which his conduct inspired 
then went a long way in pacifying the people. As 
soon as he recovered a little, he set out for Kashmir to 
recoup his health. He was adcompanied by the 
French philosopher, Bernier, who has left us a beautiful 
account of the charming valley and of the Imperial march. 


The Emperor, however, disliked the place and never 
expressed his desire to revisit it. While he was thus 
seeking repose in the North, a scene was opening in the 
North- West Frontier, which soon invited his serious 

The North-West Frontier has all along been a 
vulnerable point in the Indian Empire 

and the tribes that have ^habited 
it have always been a source of 
trouble to all Indian Governments. The Mughal 
Emperors made many attempts to introduce law and 
order in that quarter but failed to accomplish anything 
substantial or permanent. Their success was short- 
lived ; for the turbulent tribes availed themselves of the 
weakness of the Central Government during the War of 
Succession and carried their raids into the Mughal 
districts in the neighbourhood of Peshawar. In 1667 
A. C. the Yusafzals, under the leadership of one Bhagu, 
crossed the Indus and attacked the district of Hazara. 
There they established their authority and exacted 
heavy contributions from the poor peasants. They also 
attacked the Mughal outposts and planned to advance 
even into the interior of the Mughal territory. 

Aurangzeb would not allow them to continue their 

r raids into his own country. He took 

Suppression of 

the Ylisafzais : up the gauntlet thrown down by 
1667 A. C. them ; in response to the requests of 

the wardens of the Imperial outposts on the frontier, 
he issued orders to the Faujdar of Attock and the 
Governor of Kabul for reducing the Yusafzais to 
submission and sent Muhammad Amin Kfcan, son of 


Mir Jumla, to take over the supreme command. Amin 
Kban reached the Kabul Valley in August 1667 A. C. 
The three Mughal generals acted in perfect harmony 
and drove the enemy into the river. Kamil Kban and 
Shamsher Khan engaged the Yusafzals in several 
battles and inflicted sharp defeats on them. Rajah 
Jaswant Singh was posted at Jamrud to see that the 
Afghans kept quiet. 

The peace restored was again broken. This time 
the Afridls raised their heads and 
stirred up strife. In 1671 A. C. they 
declared war upon the Mughals under 
their leader, Acmal Khan, who had now assumed the 
title of King. Muhammad Amin Khan marched 
against them, but sustained serious losses in men and 
money at All Masjid. Many of the Imperialists were 
seized and sent to Central Asia for sale. Amin himself 
had a narrow escape. His family too was captured and 
released after a heavy ransom was paid. The prestige 
of the Afridi Chief rose high after his victory over the 
mighty Mughals and many an enthusiastic Afghan 
rallied round his banner in order to obtain money as 
well as to achieve military distinction. 

A more serious revolt, with which the Imperial 

, _. . Government next concerned them- 

Khattak Rising 
and arrest of _ selves, was the one headed by Khush- 

SHafFak^- an h51 ^* n Stattak. The Khattak 
Chief was invited to a Darbar at 
Peshawar and arrested by the orders of the Imperial 
Government. He was detained in prison at Delhi and 
then transferred to the prison of Ranthambhor. In 


1666 A. C. he was brought out of prison and sent with 
the Imperial army to fight against the Yusafzals, who 
were his hereditary enemies. His son was with him,, 
At the sight of his native-land, his adventurous and 
freedom-loving spirit revived, and he offered his services 
to Acmal Khan, the leader of the confederacy which 
was organized for the overthrow of the Mughals in the 
Afghan territory. When the Imperial generals, employ- 
ed against the Afghans, failed, Aurangzeb took the 
field in person. Accompanied by his distinguished 
generals, he reached Hasan Abdal and encamped there 
in 1674 A. C. His presence in the proximity of 
Peshawar proved very efficacious. He himself organized 
his forces and directed vigorous military operations 
against the frontier tribes. Diplomacy proved quite 
effective an instrument, and the Emperor received the 
obedience of many a clan through offers of jagtrs, 
pensions and concessions. Thus diminishing the force 
of opposition, Aurangzeb recalled Mahabat Khan from 
Kabul and sent his own son, Akbar, to take over. 
Aghar Khan was ordered to lead an army through the 
Khyber Pass in order to overbear the opposition of the 
Afghans who numbered not less than forty thousand at 
that time. After both the sides had suffered heavy losses, 
the Afghans gave way. The newly-appointed 
governor of Kabul reached Jalalabad and captured 
a number of Afghan outposts. At Gandamak 
Aghar Khan ousted the Afghans from their positions 
and, had Prince Aktar proceeded towards Jalalabad 
when he was pushing westwards, the Afghans could 
have been easily encircled and attacked from all sides. 


But the Prince failed to follow the plan and thus 
allowed the opportunity an easy escape. In 1675 
A. C. the Afghans inflicted a crushing defeat on Fidai 
Khan, an Imperial general, at Jagdalak on his way to 
Peshawar. His fate would have been sealed if Aghar 
Khan had not rescued him by a prompt action from 

The expedition of Mukarram Khan against Bajaut 
was a greater failure. The Emperor 
employed his best generals, but it 
was extremely difficult to deal with 
the hardy mountaineers who were thoroughly familiar 
with the ins and outs of their passes and defiles. In 
1675 A. C., towards the end, the situation improved 
and the Emperor came back to Delhi. Next year he 
sent Prince Mu'azzam against the Afghans, some of 
whom were still at large. With the Prince were 
associated Amir Khan and other distinguished generals. 
Amir Khan successfully coped with the enemy and 
his services were recognised by the bestowal of the 
governorship of Kabul on him. He governed Afghan- 
istan with considerable tact and ability. He granted 
large subsidies to the border tribes and won them over 
to his side by lucrative concessions. Under the 
influence of Amir Khan's diplomatic policy, peace was 
maintained on the frontier. The Afghan War cost 
Aurangzeb a great deal. While his hands were full 
with Afghan affairs, the Hindus created disturbance 
in the Empire and defied the authorities in the 
open. 'Alamgir therefore turned his attention towards 


The policy of the previous Mughal Emperors was 
extremely conducive to the growth of 
Hinda nation. It made no discrU 
ruination between the rulers and the 
ruled. Hindus held the highest positions, next only to 
the Emperor's, in the civil as well as military depart* 
ments of the Mughal Government. They enjoyed the 
freedom of worship and the liberty of conscience, and 
preached and propagated their faith without restrictions. 
During the reign of Shah Jahan they pulled down 
mosques and made niandirs on their sites ; they became 
so bold that they forcibly carried a'vay Muslim women 
and kept them in their houses.* Towards the close of 
his reign, when Dara Shikoh managed the affairs of the 
Central Government, they took larger liberties and 
began committing atrocities freely without fear. To 
those with whom 'Alamgir's bigotry has become a 
household word it will come as a stunning surprise to 
learn that even at the height of their power the 
Musalmans could not offer their Friday prayers in the 
Cathedral Mosque of one of the biggest cities of the 
Mughal Empire for full one year.f This state of affairs 
continued to the twelfth year of 'Alamglr's reign. As a 
result, their power and influence increased by leaps and 

* See Badshahnamah, Vol. li, p. 58; Adab-i-Alamgtri t folio 
366-b ; Tdrikh-i-Ferishta, Vol. ii, p. 27; and Aurangzeb and His 
Times,?. 116ff. 

f " In Ahmadabad ", so runs a firman of * Alamgir, " there 

is a Cathedral Mosque situated near the city gate fora 

year the Kulis have not allowed the Musalmans to offer their 
prayers. See that no one disturbs the Musalmans, 1 ' (Vide 
Mirat*i-Ahamdi t p. 275). 


bounds, and now they endeavoured to put them 
to their best advantage. In the rise of the 
Marhattas they saw the visions of a Hindu Empire. 
They rallied round Shivaji and worked for the overthrow 
of the Mughal Empire. Their risings in the North, 
particularly in the suburbs of Delhi and Agra, and 
their depredations in the South, especially in the Mughal 
territories, roused the Mughal Emperor to the danger 
that was developing so speedily and compelled him to 
reconsider his policy. 

In order to make a correct estimate of 'Alamglr 
and his achievements, it is necessary first to remove the 
mud that has been thrown upon him by his hostile 
critics and then to present an accurate account of his 
reign with the insight and impartiality of an historian. 

Let us begin with the re-imposition of the Jizia by 
'Alamgir and see if it was the 
5*the jS outcome of his bigotry, as is alleged 

by his critics.* The Jizia, it must 
be pointed out at the outset, was not an obnoxious tax 
and was not meant to be a burden on the Zimmls. It 
was, on the other hand, a blessing for them under 
Muslim rule, and was collected from them as the price 
for the protection of their person and property against 
their enemies. It was levied on able-bodied males in 
lieu of military service ; but they were exempt from it 
if they served in the Muslim army. That it was not 
* a tax on the free exercise of religion ', is conclusively 
proved by the fact that the priests and religious heads 

* For a clear and correct account of the Jizia, see 
Aurangzeb and His Times, pp , 140 ft 


of the Zimmls were, as a rule, exempt from it. In 
order, perhaps, to remove the ' inferiority complex', with 
which it came to be associated later on, Akbar abolished 
it, and it was not levied till 1679 A. C., i.e., some 
seventeen years after the accession of 'Alamglr. The 
fact that it was not imposed for so many years 
during 'Alamgir's reign shows that the much-maligned 
monarch appreciated the current state of affairs and was 
not inclined to revive it. He would have continued the 
same policy were it not for some serious considerations, 
political as well as financial. It must also be noted that 
the idea of re-imposing the Jizia originated not with 
'Alamgir, as is alleged, but with the Muslwn theologians. 
Ighwar Das, who was intimately known to the Chief 
QSzi, informs us : " The learned theologians, looking to 
His Majesty's piety, pointed out the propriety of levying 
the Jizia, which was necessary according to Islamic 
Law. His Majesty, therefore, thinking its imposition 
binding upon him, appointed Enayatullah Khan for its 
regulation."* Ishwar Das is supported by the author of 
the Mlrat and there is every reason to rely upon his 
statement. One who ascended the throne as ' a saviour 
of his religion/ and on'e who was hailed as a 'champion 
of Islam/ could not dare drop down the proposal of the 
learned Ulama. Apart from this, there were other 
considerations : The abolition of as many as eighty 
taxes meant an enormous decrease in the Imperial 
income. This as well as the heavy expenditure entailed 
in quelling disturbances and waging wars must have 

* Fat&hat-i-AlamgZrt by Ishwar Das, pp. 73-74; and 
Mirat-i-Ahmadi, 190-a. * 


driven the Emperor to the same conclusion. To him 
the re-imposition of the Jixia meant the adjustment of 
the Imperial finances and the discharge of a sacred duty. 
To say or to suppose that it was intended to effect forced 
conversion of the Zimmls in the Mughal Empire is a 
grave misrepresentation of facts. The Zimmls in the 
Service of the State were exempt from it. It was not 
exorbitant, being levied on the surplus of income over 
and above the cost of maintenance. Apart from this, 
it was not regularly collected and was frequently remitted 
in the case of the poor.* 

The charge that with one stroke of pen he dismissed 
all the Hindus from Government ser- 

Hilffic?a f ls. vice in a fit of fanaticism is false on 
the face of it, for there were numerous 
Hindus who held highly responsible posts in the civil 
and military departments of the State during his reign. 
Many of them were appointed governors of different 
provinces and entrusted with the supreme military com- 
mands in various campaigns. The fact that he 
repeatedly pardoned Rajah Jaswant Singh for his 
treacherous conduct and treasonable designs, took him 
into confidence in spite of all that, and acknowledged 
his posthumous son, Ajit Singh, when he grew up in 
age, as the Rajah of Marwar, shows that 'Alamgir was 
not at all inclined to annoy the Rajputs or to dispense 
with their services ; on the other hand, he tried his best 
to please them in every possible way, so that they 
might not join hands with the Marhattas against him. 

* Fatuhtot-isAlamglri, by Ishwar D*s, 111-b; Mirat-i- 
Ahmadl, p. 321 ; and Aurang ,-eb and His Times, pp. 153 if. 


While making a reply to a petition, praying for the 
dismissal of the Zimmls from certain posts, 'Alamgir 
retorted : * Religion has no concern with secular business 
and in matters of this kind bigotry should find no place/ 
Then quoting a verse from the Holy Qur'dn ' To you 
your religion and to me my religion,' he declared that 
if the petitioner's request were to be acceded to, * we 
shall have to destroy all the Rajas and their subjects.' * 
The mere mole, therefore, of which a huge mountain has 
been made by his enemies is that in 1082 A. H. a 
firman was issued to the effect that Hindu clerks, the 
dlwans and the collectors of land revenue, who were 
corrupt, be dismissed and Musalmans appointed instead, 
though this firman was soon modified by another in 
this way that of the officials in the civil and military 
departments of the State one should be Hindu and 
one Muslim, so that one should serve as a check on the 
other. Obviously, therefore, the idea underlying the 
firmans was to prevent corruption and nothing more, t 
Another equally false charge levelled against 
'Alamgir is that he tormented the 
Hindas and destroyed their temples, 
and that in accordance with the 
tenets of his religion. To be sure, Islam enjoins 

* Preaching of Islam, by Sir Thomas Arnold, p. 214; 
Anecdotes of Aurangzeb, by Sir Jadunath Sarkar, pp. 97100 ; and 
Aurangzeb and His Times, p, 202. 

t Muntakhib-ul-Lubab, Vol. ii, pp. 249 and 252 ; Studies 
in Mughal India, pp. 162-63; and Aurangzeb and His Times, 
pp. 190 ff. It may be pointed out here that even Ihe PathSns 
and Persians were not freely employed by 'Alamgir for political 
reasons. (See Aurangzeb and His Times, pp. 191 and 266). 


universal toleration and its votaries have practised it with 
rare fidelity. The lot of the subjugated has never been 
happier than under the ruling races of Islam. Some time 
ago the Asiatic Society of Bengal published a firman 
addressed by Emperor ' Alamgir to Abul Hasan, the 
Governor of Benares, enjoining tolerance on him and 
his officials. This firman, the genuineness of which 
cannot be called in question, gives a lie direct to the 
charge of intolerance laid at the door of the last of our 
Great Mughals, and reveals his care and concern for the 
well-being of his Hindu subjects. It reads : 

" Let Abul Hasajj, worthy of favour and countenance, 

Firman issued trust to our r y al b unty, and let 

to the governor him know that, since in accordance 
of Benares. . . . 4 , . , f ,. 

with our innate kindness of disposi- 
tion and natural benevolence, the whole of our untiring 
energy and all our upright intentions are engaged in 
promoting the public welfare and bettering the condition 
of all classes, high and low, therefore, in accordance 
with our holy law, we have decided that ancient temples 
shall not be overthrown, but that new ones shall not be 
built. In these days of our justice, information has 
reached our noble and most holy Court that certain 
persons, actuated by rancour and spite, have harassed 
the Hindus resident in the town of Benares and a few 
other places in that neighbourhood, and also certain 
Brahman keepers of the temples, in whose charge these 
ancient temples are, and that they further desire to 
remove these Brahmans from theif ancient office (and 
this intention of theirs causes distress to that community), 
therefore, our Royal Command is that, after the arrival 


of our lustrous order, you should direct that in future, 
no person shall in unlawful way interfere or disturb the 
Brahmans and the other Hindus resident in these* 
places, so that they may, as before, remain in their 
occupation and continue with peace of mind to offer up 
prayers for the continuance of our God-given Empire, 
that is destined to last for all time. Consider this as 
an urgent matter. Dated the 15th of Jumada II, A. H. 
1069 (A. D. 1659)." * 

Two more firmans issued by ' Alamgir to his* 
officers, containing similar instructions, have come to 
light and they are reproduced verbatim because they are 
highly significant : 

"At this auspicious time an august firman was 

issued that whereas Maharajdhiraj 
Firman No. 1. R _ . & Rftm gingh faas represente d to the 

most holy, and exalted Court that a mansion was built 
by his father in Mohalla Madho Rai, on the bank of the 
Ganges at Benares for the residence of Bhagwant 
Goshain who is also his religious preceptor, and as 
certain persons harass the Goshain, therefore, our Royal 
Cojnmand is that, after the arrival of our lustrous order, 
the present and future officers should direct that in 
future, no person shall in any way interfere or disturb 
the Goshain, so that he may continue with peace of mind 
tp offer up prayers for the continuance of our God-given 
Empire, that is destined to last for all time. Consider 
this as an urgent matter. Dated 17th Rabi II, 1091 
A. H." 

* /.A. S.B. (1911), p. 689: and Waqai-'Alamglrt, pp. 104 ff, 
Also see Aurangzeb and His Times, pp. 106 ff. 


" At this auspicious time an august firman was 

^. _ XT issued that as two plots of land mea- 

FzrwawNo. 2. . _ rtrt _ .. _ . 

sunng 588J- air a, situated on the 

bank of the Ganges at the Beni Mad ho Ghat, in BenSres 
(one plot is in front of the house of Goshain Ramjivan 
and on the bank of the Central Mosque, and the other 
is higher up) are lying vacant without any building and 
belong to Bait-ul-Mal, we have, therefore, granted the 
same to Goshain Ramjivan and his sons as Inatn, so 
that after building dwelling-houses for the pious 
Brahmans and holy faqlrs on the above-mentioned 
plots, he should remain engaged in the contemplation 
of God and continue to offer up prayers for the con- 
tinuance of our God-given Empire that is destined to 
last for all time. It is, therefore, incumbent on our 
illustrious sons, exalted ministers, noble Umaras, high- 
officials, daroghas, and present and future Kotwals, to 
exert themselves for the continual and permanent ob- 
servance of this hallowed ordinance, and to permit the 
above-mentioned plots to remain in the possession of 
the above-mentioned person and of his descendants from 
generation to generation, and to consider him exempt 
from all dues and taxes, and not to demand from him a 
new sanad every year. (1098 Hijra.)" * 

* This and the preceding firmans have been published by Mr. 
Za^ir-ud-Dm Faruqi in his valuable work Aurangzeb and His 
Times with the help of K B. Maqbul Hussain Sahib, Commissioner 
of Benares Division (See pp. 131-132). For other firmans issued 
by 'Alamgir to the same effect, vide Mirat-i-Ahmadi, p. 253; and 
Aurangzeb and His Times, pp. 136 ff. Also see Ch. NabI Ahmad 
Sandelvi's Waqai 'Alamgir, which contains a number of 
Aurrangzeb's letters and firirZns with copious notes. 


The dates of the above two firmans are highly^im- 
portant in that they relate to the 

Which temples period of 'Alamgir's reign when he is 
were destroyed lf , ^ . , , ,. ... 

and why ? alleged to have exceeded every limit 

in bigotry and fanaticism. The infor- 
mation embodied in them militates against the theory of 
intolerance and iconoclasm enunciated against him by 
modern writers who have little acquaintance with the 
teachings of Islam and Islamic history. It is certain 
that Islam enjoins toleration and its votaries have always 
tried to excel in this virtue. No nation has granted 
greater liberty to the subject races than that granted by 
the Muslim Rulers, whether in India, Spain, or else- 
where. It is equally true that 'Alamgir had a profound 
respect for the teachings of Islam. He always tried to 
be tolerant towards the Zimmls and was true to the 
Quranic text : " Let there be no violence in religion " 
and the sayings of the Prophet " Whoever torments the 
Zimmls torments me " and " Whoever wrongs a Zimml 
and lays a burden upon him beyond his strength, I 
shall be his accuser ". What then is responsible for 
the popular belief that he was intolerant and the current 
notions that he persecuted the Hindus and destroyed 
their temples? The real facts, when boiled down, 
resolve themselves into this : When the Hindus des- 
troyed mosques and constructed mandirs on their sites, 
the Muslim Emperor reclaimed them and issued an 
order to demolish only those temples which had become 
centres of sedition and political intrigue, and those that 
had been newly erected without permission.* The 

* Muntdkhib-ul-Lubab. Vol. ii. p. 472. 


later Muslim jurists disallowed the construction of 
new temples. Accordingly, in obedience to this 
injunction, Shah Jahan pulled down a number of new 
temples.* But, curiously enough, no Hindu has so 
far dubbed him as intolerant. Why then such a tor- 
nado of vindictiveness against 'Alamgir ? The reason 
is that, after Akbar, the Hindus had found in Dara a 
hero after their own hearts. They wanted him to be 
their king, but when he was defeated and killed, they 
turned against 'Alamgir, the new king, who was a 
staunch Sunni. 'Alamglr was tolerant, and to a fairly 
high degree, but not so tolerant as Akbar and Dara, 
who, in order to achieve their ulterior political aims, 
concealed their religious identities and even subscribed 
to the religion of the ruled. 

The isolated instrnce recorded in the Ma'asir-i 

xiru A u TT J ' Alamgiri that * in the Province of 

Whether HmdQ ^, , , . , f . 

schools were ThattS and MultSn and particularly in 

Benares - the Brahmans were engaged 
in teaching unholy books in their 
schools, where the H in d us and Musal mans flocked to learn 
their wicked sciences * and that ' orders were, therefore, 
issued to all the governors of Provinces ordering the 
destruction of temples and schools and totally prohibit- 
ing the teaching and infidel practices of the unbelievers',f 
is not supported by any other contemporary Persian 
chronicle ; on the other hand, it is contradicted by 
the cumulative evidence adduced above. We cannot, 

* Badshahnamah, Vol. i, p. 452. 
t Ma'asir-i-'lLlamgirt, p, 81. 


therefore, but disbelieve it. It must be pointed out here 
that some of the contemporary chroniclers were unusual- 
ly fond of unduly exaggerating things which added to 
their religious vanity, and that it would be wholly 
unsafe if their effusions are taken too seriously. Like 
those Muslims, who took delight in the extirpation of 
idolatory at any cost and with whom the destruction of 
temples was a theme of which they were never tired of 
weaving, Musts'id Khan, the author of the Ma'asir-i- 
'Alamglrl, seems to have given a religious colour to a 
purely political firman. It is certain that no firman, as 
described by Musta'id Khan, was ever sent to the gover- 
nors for the destruction of temples and schools ; but 
even if we take the dispatch of such a firman for granted, 
the motive underlying it could be no other than to 
restrain Muslim students from attending Hindu schools 
and learning ' wicked sciences,' though in that case 
'Alamglr should have checked the Muslims from going 
astray instead of ordering the destruction of Hindu 
schools and temples. In consequence, some of the 
schools (attached to temples) might have been closed with 
a view to prevent the Hindus from admitting Muslim 
students in their schools, but the wholesale destruction 
of schools and temples throughout the Mughal Empire 
is highly incredible, more so when viewed in the light 
of the Imperial firmans issued for their protection. 

The policy of religious toleration adhered to 
Toleration under b Y the Mughal Emperors was not 
'Alamgir. abandoned by Aurangzeb. This 

fact is testified to by Alexander Hamilton who 
happened to be present in India during the later 


part of 'Alamglr's reign. Speaking about the Parsis, he 
says that they enjoyed the freedom of worship and the 
liberty of conscience. The Christians, he continues, 
were free to build churches and to preach their religion, 
adding, however, that those who became converts to 
Christianity did not have enviable morals. " The 
Gentows", he concludes, have full toleration for their 
religion, and keep their fasts and feasts as in formei 
times, when the sovereignty was in pagan princes' 

hands There are above an hundred different 

sects in this city (Surat) ; but they never have hot dis- 
putes about their doctrine or way of worship. Every 
one is free f* serve and worship God in his own way. 
And persecutions for religion's sake are not known 
among them ".* With all this, it must be admitted, 
'Alamglr was not so tolerant towards the Hindus as 
Data who shared their beliefs and supported their 
religion nay even overlooked the occupation of mosques 
and the abduction of Muslim women by them. The 
death of )ara dealt a coup d'etat to Hindu domination. 
Smarting under the loss of a most powerful patron, 
they rose in rebellion, disturbed the peace of the country 
and defied the authority of the Emperor. Must the 
Emperor have kept quiet and allowed the existing state 
of affairs a free scope ? No government can tolerate that 
Five inferences can be drawn from the preceding 

Inferences drawn discussion : (1) The destruction of 
from the foregoing ... . . 

discussion. places of worship is neither enjoined 

nor countenanced by the Islamic Law. (2) The Hindus 

M New Account of the East Indies, by Alexander Hamilton, 
Vol. i, pp. 159, 162 and 163. 


were the first to destroy the mosques of the Muslims. The 
latter retaliated by repaying the former in their own coin, but 
the Government issued firmans for the protection of all 
sacred places, masjids as well as mandirs, without discri- 
mination. (3) Owing, perhaps, to the narrow interpre^ 
tation of the Islamic Law, so also to the prejudice which 
the Musalmans had against idolatry, the later Muslim 
jurists allowed the preservation of ancient temples and 
prohibited the construction of new ones with a view to 
discourage idol-worship. The occupation of mosques- 
by the Hindus was, it must be remembered, responsible, 
and to a great extent, for the rigid enforcement of the 
injunction prohibiting the construction of new temples. 
(4) Where the ruler is resented by the ruled, no amount 
of toleration is of any avail and the places of worship 
are apt to become centres of political agitation and 
asylums for the malcontents and miscreants. This must 
have been so in the case of 'Alamglr, and as a political 
expedient some of the temples might have been destroyed 
during the suppression of a rebellion or a revolt in order to 
effect the early submission of the rebels. (5) It is also 
possible that some of the temples were destroyed with a 
view to teach a lesson to the Hindus who had destroyed 
mosques and made mandirs on their sites. 

In short, 'Alamgir would have continued the policy 

4 ,. . .. . of his predecessors if the conditions 

'Alamglr justified. . , , , ., , . , , 

had not changed ; if the Hindus had 

not become aggressive, defiant and even treacherous, 
ambitious to overthrow the Muslim Empire^ and to 
establish a Hindu Empire instead. He rightly gauged 
the strength of the forces that were gathering round him 


and changed his policy according as the changes sug- 
gested. Any of his predecessors would have done the same 
if he had found himself besieged by so many forces of 
intrigue and insubordination which beset 'Alamglr. 
It must be remembered that it was only after he had 
^discovered that it was impossible to reconcile the 
Rajputs to his rule that he refused to rely on them and 
rallied round him his own co-religionists, with whose 
help he succeeded in crushing his enemies and enforc- 
ing his authority as well as restoring law and order. 
When he unsheathed his sword for the protection of 
mosques and' Muslim women, he became the Defender 
of the Faith, but when he carried the Crescent far and 
wide, he became the Champion of Islam a title with 
which he is remembered to the present day. 

The Jats of Mathura had received great concessions 

from Emperor Akbar and his spn, 
Jat Rebellion. j ah ^ ng!r . While Akbar himself had 

constructed the palacial temples of Gobind Dev, Jugal 
Kighor, Gopi Nath etc., in Bindraban and Mattiura, 
Jahanglr had permitted Rajah Narsingh Dev Bundela, 
the murderer of Allama Abul Fazl, to build a beautiful 
temple in Mathura with Rs. 32,00,000 which he had 
acquired after killing the Allama. During the reign of 
Shah Jahan the Jats resumed their mischievous activities 
in Mathura* Distinguished officers, such as 'Azam 
Khan and Mirza Isa Khan, who were sent to restore law 
and order in that district, failed to bring them to book 
on account of Dara Shikoh, who managed the affairs of 
the Mughal Government. This state of affairs continu- 
ed to the time of 'Alamgir with, of course, added 


energy, because Dara, their patron, was defeated and 
killed. They were touched to t the quick when Sayyad 
Abdun-NabI, the new Faujdar appointed by ' Alamglr, 
built a Jama Mas/id and not a temple in the heart 
of the Hindu city. In 1669 A. C. they insulted the 
mosque, broke into open rebellion under the leadership 
of Gokle, a zamlndar of Tilpat, and assassinated the 
Imperial Faujdar. Hassan All, the new Faujdar, 
resumed the struggle with the Jats and inflicted a 
crushing defeat on them in 1676 A. C. The rebellion 
was suppressed and severe repressive measures secured 
peace for about a decade. The trouble was renewed 
again in 1681 A. C. when, taking advantage of the 
absence of Alamglr who was away in the Deccan, the 
Jats again ran into rebellion under Rajah Ram. This 
time the centre of sedition was the stronghold of 
SansanI, some sixteen miles to the north-west of 
Bharatpur. The leader was killed and the place was 
taken, but the lawless Jats continued to give trouble to 
the Emperor to the close of his career. In 1691 A. C. 
they again raised the standard of revolt and offered a 
most acrimonious effrontery to the Imperial House, nay, 
they committed a mosjt heinous offence against humanity 
when they desecrated and plundered the tomb of 
Emperor Akbar at Sikandara and burnt his bones.* 

A more serious rebellion was that of the SatnSmls. 
According to Ishwar Das, a con- 

The Satnaims' temporary chronicler, the Satnamis 
Insurrection. r J 

were ' a filthy people , who were 

mostly agriculturists and traders. Their headquarters 

* Waqai-'Alamgiri, pp 4995 ; and Smith's Akbar, p. 328, 


were at Narnaul. They were an armed and organized 
body. The trouble with them arose from an ordinary 
incident. One day a foot-soldier, who was keeping 
watch over a harvest, had a dispute with a Satnami 
cultivator. The dispute developed into a deadlock and 
the former was beaten to death. As a result, retaliations 
followed, lives were lost and disorder spread, taking a 
religious complexion. The Mughal officer, who tried to, 
capture the culprits, was overpowered and the Satnamis 
gathered in large numbers. In some engagements they 
defeated the detachments detailed against them by the 
Emperor. R spelling, the advance of the Imperial 
forces, they came within sixteen kos of Delhi, enlisting 
support on their way. They plundered Narnaul, demolish- 
ed mosques and routed the Imperial Faujdar of the 
district. Taking advantage of the chaos created by the 
Satnamis, some of the Rajputs also rebelled and refused 
to pay the revenue due from them. This aggravated the 
situation and compelled the Emperor to take a 
serious action. In the short but bloody battle that was 
fought, the Satnamis were badly defeated, and thereafter 
they ceased to be a source of trouble to the Mughal 
Emperor. Radandaz Khan, wha defeated the rebels 
and reduced them to sore straits, was honoured with 
the title of Shuja'at Khan* 

The Rajputs, who had grown rich in resources and 

strong in the sinews of war, never 
War with . , . - . 

the Rajputs. missed an opportunity of creating 

disturbance arid disorder. Their 

* Muntafaib-ul-Lubab, pp. 254-55: and Aurangzeb and 
His Times, p, 210. 


anti-government activities during the Satnami Rebellion 
are a case in point, proving that they wanted to stab the 
Mughals in the back while they were engaged elsewhere. 
This is not the only instance ; the whole reign of 
'Alamgir is full of such instances. Troubles continued 
in Rajputana intermittantly, but the situation became 
serious in 1679 A. C., when Rajah Jaswant Singh 
whom 'Alamgir had posted at Jamrud at the mouth of 
the Khyber Pass, died at that place, leaving no son 
behind to succeed him ; more so when at Lahore the 
widowed Rams gave birth to two sons, ^ne of whom 
died and the other survived to secure the Gaddl of 
MSrwar and to stir up the sentiments of his co-religion- 
ists against the Muslim Monarch. The family of the late 
Rajah had left Jamrud without the permission of the 
Emperor and killed an officer at Attock when asked to 
produce a passport.* This was a sufficient ground for 
incorporating Marwar in the Mughal Empire, or reduc- 
ing it to a state of dependency under a capable ruler. 
But there were more serious considerations : In the 
first place, it was impossible for any emperor of India to 
tolerate the existence of an independent and inimical 
state on the flanks of the trade-route through Rajputana 
to Surat, Ahmadabad and other flourishing cities on the 
western coasts from the Imperial Capital. " No 
monarch could feel himself secure in the sovereignty of 
Upper India," says Smith, " until he had obtained 
possession of Chittor and Ranthambhor, the two 
principal fortresses in the domains of the free Rajput 

* Muntakhib-ul-Lubab, p, 259 ; and Aurangzeb and His Times, 
-~ 911 and 212. 


chiefs." Secondly, the late Rajah Jaswant Singh had 
proved himself a traitor not only once or twice but 
throughout his career. It was he who plundered 
'Alamgir's camp and formed a junction with Dara. 
It was he who deserted 'Alamgir on the eve of the battle 
of Khajwah and retired to his home with his Rajput 
contingent. It was he who ' made overtures to Shivaji 
(like himself an implacable foe of the Moghuls), against 
whom he was sent to act ' and secretly helped him in 
his daring attack on Shaista Khan. It was he who 
made an attempt ' to remove the Imperial lieutenants, 
one by assassination the other by open force/ It was he 
who incited Mu azzam 'whose inexperience he was said 
to guide, to revolt against his father. 1 Again it was 
Jaswant who tried to tamper with the loyalty of his bro- 
ther-in-law, viz., Rao Bbao Singh, who was his colleague 
in the Imperial army.* These are some among the many 
striking instances of his treachery and disloyalty. Accord- 
ing to Bernier, there was a secret understanding between 
him and Shivajl, and he was supposed to have been 
accessory to the attempt on Shaista Khan and the attack of 
Surat.f Thirdly, almost all Rajput Rajahs were smait- 
ing under the Muslim Rule and aimed at the overthrow 
of the established government. It was but natural that 
'Alamgir should seriously consider the question of 
succession of the posthumous sons whose legitimacy was 
open to grave doubts, t He wanted to confer the Rajship 

*Tarikh-i-Dilku$ha, p. 25 ; Annals and Antiquities of 
Rajasthan, (1894) Vol. ii, pp. 51 ff. and Aurangzeb and His Times, 
\Bernier's Travels, (2nd edition), p. 188. 
JSee Aurangzeb and His Times, p. 214 ff. 


on one who would be more loyal and less treacherous 
than the late Rajah. Lest the surviving sons of the 
deceased Rajah should become a centre of Hindu 
resistance, 'Alamgir at once ordered the administration 
of Marwar to be brought under Muslim officers. 
Early in 1679 A. C. he went personally to Ajmer to see 
through the operations in Jodhpur and to overawe 
opposition in that quarter. Khan Jahan occupied the 
city and carried all that came in his way. After the 
occupation of Jodhpur, 'Alamgir returned to his Capital 
on April 2, 1679 A. C. On May 26, 1679 A. C. he 
made Indar Singh, a grand-nephew of the late Rajah, 
the Rajah of Marwar. The following month the family 
of Rajah Jaswant Singh reached Delhi and pleaded the 
right of Ajlt Singh before the Emperor, who proposed 
the infant to be brought up in the Imperial palace and 
promised to restore the kingdom to him when he would 
attain the age of discretion. Erroneously supposing 
that the intention of the Emperor was to bring up the 
boy as a Muslim, the Ranis left Delhi in disguise with 
him. When the Emperor was informed of the flight, it 
was a little too late. Nevertheless, he sent a force to 
seize the Ranis and the infant. A body of Rathors, 
headed by Durga Das, one of the immortals in the 
annals of Rajputana, fought against the Imperial force 
and succeeded in safely escorting the Ranis and the 
little boy to Marwar. Once in their own country, they 
were free from all external molestation. The Rajputs 
rallied round their voung chieftain and took up his 
cause. The Emperor, however, refused to acknowledge 
him as the real prince and declared the boy, whom the 


Ranis had left at Delhi to be the genuine son of Jaswant 
Singh. It cannot be definitely asserted whether the 
boy left at Delhi was the fictitious or the real son of 
the late Rajah, but when the Rana of Chittor gave the 
hand of a princess of his family to the boy, the latter 
became the real son of Jaswant Singh even if he was 
not. This interesting episode bitterly disappointed 
Aurangzeb. His wrath fell on those of his officers who 
had been duped by the Rams. Tahir Khan, the Faujdar 
of Jodhpur, was dismissed and Indar Singh was 
dethroned for inefficiency. Whatever the delusion of 
the Emperor in regard to the identity of A jit Singh 
might have been, there was no delusion as to the gravity 
of the situation 'hat required a prompt action. Marwar 
must be incorporated and Rathor opposition must be 

The invasion of Marwar was ordered and the 
Invasion of Emperor himself moved down to 

Marwar and Ajmer in order to direct the operations 

from there. Prince Akbar was called 
from Multan and to him was entrusted the supreme 
command of the Imperial army, and with him was 
associated Tahawar Khan, the Faujdar of Ajmer. 
The Rathors were defeated and Marwar was occupied. 
It was parcelled out into districts, each of which was 
placed in charge of a Mughal Faujdar. The Rathors 
now invoked the assistance of the Sisodians and their 
request met with a ready response. Fearing a similar 
fate, the House of Mewar made common cause with the 
House of Mnrwar against the Mughal Emperor. The 
ever-loyal Rajah of Jaipur continued to side with the 


Mughals. The war broke out with great fury in 
November 1679 A. C. and lasted till 1681 A. C. 
During this time Udaipur was overrun and Chittor was 
conquered. Unable to stand against the tremendous 
array of the Mughal arms, the Rajputs retired to their 
inaccessible retreats in the mountains and resorted to 
guerilla warfare, for which the natural features of their 
country were so favourable. They inflicted heavy 
losses on the Imperial troops and caused consternation 
among them, Kumar Bhim Singh, son of the Rana of 
Udaipur, invaded Gujarat in order to divert the 
attention of the Mughal Emperor from Rajputana. He 
seized Idar, plundered some towns and destroyed as 
many as three hundred mosques.* x)Ial Shah, the 
Rajput Finance Minister, made an inroad into Malwa, 
1 plundered the mosques, burned the Qur'an and insulted 
the mullahs' * For once,' says Tod, ' they (Rajputs) 
avenged themselves, in imitation of the tyrant, even on 
the religion of their enemies : the kazees were bound 
and shaved, and the Korans were thrown into wells. 't 
Akbar could make no headway against them. Therefore, 
he was called back and his place was taken by his 
brother, 'Azam, who was summoned from Bengal. 
Mu'azzam came from the Deccan, and the governor of 
Gujarat was ordered to cut off communications between 
the Rajputs and the Marhattas, and to deliver an attack 

* Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Vol. i, p. 302 ; 
Mirat-i-Ahmadi, p. 294; Fatuhat-i-'Alamgiri, 80a ; and 
Aurangzeb and His Times, p. 299. 

"\Annals and Antiquities of Rdjasthan, Vol. i, p. 302 ; 
Fatuhat'i-Alamgirit 80a ; and Aurangzeb and His Times, p. 229. 


on Rajputana from the South. The Rajputs were 
surrounded from different directions and the new 
princes converged on the hills, which sheltered Rajah 
Raj Singh of Udaipur. When success was in sight, the 
news of the rebellion of Prince Muhammad Akbar 
arrived and Mewar was easily relieved of the pressure at 
a most psychological moment. 

Driven to despair, the Rajputs resorted to underhand 

means. They secretly approached 

Rebellion of p rince Mu azzam> holding out high 

hopes to him and promising to put 
him on the throne. Sternly advised 
by his mother, Nawab Bal, the Prince declined the 
offer.* The Rajputs then turned towards Prince Akbar 
and won him over to their side.f In January, 1681 he 
broke into rebellion with the hope of acquiring the 
throne for himself. Supported by the Rajputs, he 
crowned himself emperor and marched towards Ajmer 
to wrest the Imperial Crown for himself. But he was 
no match for the craft of his father. The situation was 
extremely grave and required a master-mind to control 
it. Aurangzeb put Ajmer in a state of defence first and 
then directed his energies towards the dissolution of the 
confederacy. Tahawar Khan, the principal supporter of 
the Prince, was called to the Imperial Camp. Other 
officers of the army of the Prince were also detached, 
and he was not so clever as to control the campaign 
against his father unaided and alone. The defection of 
his faithful followers scented treachery to the Rajputs, 

*Aurangzeb and His Times, p. 229. 
., pp. 229 and 230. 


who took to flight at night after collecting their 
belongings and looting his camp. Finding himself 
deserted by his allies, he mounted his horse and fled to 
the Deccan, where he took refuge with Sambhajl. 
From the Deccan he went to Persia and remained 
there to die in 1704 A. C. 

'Alamglr's success was due to a superior stroke of 
statesmanship. With Akbar as their trump-card, the 
Rajputs would have succeeded in their nefarious plans, 
but the desertion of the Prince by his followers, mani- 
pulated by 'Alamglr, turned the trend of events in his 

The war against Mewar and Marwar continued 

rTTJ . till March, 1681 A. C. when both the 

Treaty of Udaipur. ' 

parties desired peace the Rajputs, 

because they had become tired of war, and the Emperor, 
because matters had taken a serious turn in the 
South and his presence was urgently required there. 
Pourparlers for peace commenced and the result was 
the Treaty of Udaipur, according to which: (1) Jai Singh 
was acknowledged as the Rana and a mansab of five 
thousand was conferred upon him. (2) The Rana 
stipulated to cede certain tracts (three pargatias) of his 
territory to the Mughal Empire and in return the 

* The detachment of two or three officers from the Prince was 
not sufficient to occasion the flight of his Muslim followers and 
Rajput allies from the field. The story that 'Alamglr wrote a 
letter to the Prince, showering praises on him for his ' pretended 
revolt' and directing hirr to attack the Rajputs in the rear, and 
caused it to fall into their hands furnishes a better explanation, 
but it is not supported by Khafl Khan. (Vide Muntakhib-ul- 
Lubab, Vol. n, p 269.) 


demand for the Jizia was dropped, but the territory 
ceded was returned three years later. (3) The Rana 
also agreed to pay an indemnity of Rs. 3,00,000 within 
two years. (4) The Rajput contingent of one thousand 
horsemen was retained. (5) The fortress of Chittor was 
not to be repaired. (6) The rebellious Rathors would 
not be sheltered by the Rana.* 

For a period of about three decades Rajputana 

Results of the remained in a state of open revolt 
Rajput Revolt. against the Mughal Emperor. " The 
elements of lawlessness that set moving overflowed 
fitfully into Malwa and endangered the vitally important 
Mughal road through Malwa to the Deccan." The 
Rajputs, who had completely estranged themselves and 
become the bitterest enemies of the Mughal Empire, 
were suppressed only for the time being ; they were not 
completely crushed. Since the affairs in Rajputatia 
occupied the attention of the Emperor for a fairly long 
time, his position was considerably weakened in the 
South, where the Marhattas had made a monarchy 
of their own. Evidently he could not completely 
reduce the Rajputs, though he had won decisive victories 
against them. As his hands we're too full of affairs, 
he advisedly entered into a treaty with them and 
turned his attention to the suppression of the Marhatta 
menace and the subversion of the Shia Sultanates in 
the South. 

* For a detailed discussion on this treaty and Prince 
'AzanVs secret alliance with the Rajputs regarding this treaty, 
see Aurangzeb and His Times, pp. 231 ff. 




Rise of the Marhattas 
In the neighbourhood of 1 634 A. C. a Marhatta soldier 

of fortune, named Shahjl Bhonsla, 
Introductory. . 

began to play a prominent part in the 

politics of Southern India. He served and fought for the 
independence of the kingdoms of Ahmadnagar and 
Bijapur against the Mughals and left a fairly large band 
of followers and a modest military fief to his son, 
Shivaji, the arch-enemy of Aurangzeb. Before taking up 
the story of this mighty Marhatta, it is necessary to give 
a brief account of the Marhatta country, its people, and 
the qualities that mark them off from the remaining 
population of India ; for these are important factors 
bearing upon Shivaji's career which cannot be treated as 
an isolated phenomenon. 

Maharashtra, the habitat of the Marhattas, is com- 
prised in the country lying between 

Description of ^, , . ,. , , , , 

Maharashtra. *" e mountain range which stretches 

along the south of the river Narbada, 
parallel to the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The out- 
standing physical feature of the country is the Sahyadri 
range or the Western Ghat which runs like a long wall 
along the western part ?nd divides the tracts into two 
parts, each remarkable for its own peculiarities*. Thus 
situated, the triangular table-land of the Deccan enjoyed 


considerable immunity from the invasions to which the 
North had become a constant prey. The forts on top 
of the ranges ensured the security of the country. It 
is from these important positions that various princes 
and chiefs have, at different times, profited and suc- 
cessfully defied the authority of the mighty kings of 
the North. 

Owing to the peculiar nature of their country, the 

Marhattas have developed certain 
Character and 
qualities of physical and moral qualities which 

the Marhattas. dist i n g u i s h them from the rest of 

their countrymen. The winding roads up the 
rocks, the fortified entrances with a succession of 
gate-ways, the towers erected in order to guard the 
approaches to the forts which studded the surface of 
that rugged country all these gave the inhabitants of 
the country a decided advantage over their opponents. 
Their guerilla mode of warfare greatly exasperated their 
enemy and exhausted their resources in men and money. 
Even the Mighty Mughals found it difficult to defeat 
them, for they would never fight their enemy in the 
open field. The niggardliness of nature and the 
bracing climate of their country made them simple, 
strong, sturdy, daring, enterprising and persevering. They 
were peasant proprietors who never shirked the roughest 
and hardest toil. Mounted on small ponies and carry- 
ing some raw or parched millet, they undertook long 
marches and inflicted losses on their enemy. They 
could be easily dispersed and easily called together 
according to the season of the year. Except 
at the time of seeding and harvesting, they were 


always at leisure to wage war. They joined the armies 
of Bijapur and Golconda and soon acquired the 
necessary training in the art of fighting. Gradually 
they became first-class fighters, with ample chances of 
success against the men of the North, dissipated by 
luxury, indolence and ease. In the Rajput, the Mughals 
had found a most worthy antagonist ; in the Mar- 
hatta, a most formidable foe ; for the latter would not 
shrink from taking recourse to treachery when it served 

his ends. 

We have already given a brief account of the Bhaktl 

. . Movement which appeared in the 

Their religion. 

North in the fifteenth and sixteenth 

centuries and gave a new stamp to the religion of the 
Hindus. Spreading throughout the length and breadth 
of India, this protestant movement, the Reformation, 
made its way into the humble ranks of the Marhattas 
and united them into a common brotherhood wherein 
there were no distinctions of caste and colour. The 
religious leaders of the Marhattas sprang from the 
lower stratum. They, therefore, preached equality of 
all persons and ruled out the differences of birth and 
blood. They declared a crusade against all those grave 
abuses with which Hinduism was honeycombed, and 
propagated the monotheistic principle which the Musal- 
mans had introduced in India. They condemned forms 
and ceremonies and succeeded in stamping out super- 
stition from the ranks of Marhatta society. They 
taught their followers tne philosophy of action and the 
science of discipline. By songs and speeches, they 
stirred up the sentiments of the people and inculcated 


patriotism among them. According to Dr. Ishwari 
Prasad, the centre of these new ideas was Pandharpur, a 
seat of pilgrimage in the Deccan, and the Pandharpur 
movement was a powerful factor in unifying the 
Marhatta country. The principal preachers of the 
new ideas were Tuka Ram, Ram Das, Vaman Pandit 
and Eknath. 

Under the Shia Sultans of the kingdoms of Bijapur 
Their early anc ^ Golconda, the Marhattas had 

training. acquired considerable training both 

in the civil and military administration of the country. 
They were employed in the revenue department and 
entrusted with important posts in the armies. Some of 
them enjoyed the unmixed confidence of their rulers 
and held even ministerial portfolios in the State. To 
give specific instances, Mudar Rao, Madan Pandit and 
several other prominent members of the Raj Rai family 
served as ministers and diwans in the State of Gol- 
conda ; Narsu and Yasu Pandit were other Marhatta 
chiefs who distinguished themselves in the Kingdom 
of Bijapur. The Bahmani Kings had employed the 
Hindus of the South in the State and entrusted them 
with the most responsible positions. Their policy was 
followed and kept up by their successors, the rulers 
of the offshoots, i.e., the five small states into which 
the Bahmani Kingdom had been split up. While in the 
military department the Marhattas served as Siledars 
and Bargirs, Brahman ambassadors were sent on 
important diplomatic missions. Thus, it is quite- 
obvious that Bijapur and Golconda were virtually 
dependent on Marhatta soldiers and statesmen who had 


gradually acquired great power and influence in tfte 
affairs of these States. 

At the commencement of the seventeenth century, 

when the Kingdom of Ahmadnagar was 
I he rise of the 

Bhonsla family : blotted out of existence and those of 

Shahji Bhonsla. Bi japur and Golconda were threatened 
with a similar fate by the Mughals, the Marhatta 
ministers and warriors found ample scope for the 
display of their wisdom and valour. They took a lead- 
ing part in the wars and revolutions that came in quick 
succession and advanced their own national interests. 
One of such persons was a jagitdar, called Shahji 
Bhonsla, the father of Shivaji, who had joined the 
service of the Sultan of Bi japur in 1632 A. C. and 
risen to a high position with the help of Murari Jag- 
deva, a friend of the Vazir, Khawas Khan. Later 
on, he obtained in Mysore a much larger jaglr, includ- 
ing Sira and Bangalore, when he returned after conduct- 
ing a successful campaign in the South. 

Shivaji Bhonsla, son of Shahji Bhonsla by his wife 
Jijabai, was born in the stronghold of 
of a shivkfi. Sivaner on the 10th of April 1627 

A. C, On the male side he claimed 
descent from the Rajput Rajahs of Udaipur and on the 
female side he was a descendant of the Yadava rulers 
of Deogari. Both his parents being so highly connect- 
ed, Shivaji might justly be proud of his noble ancestry. 
His mother has been described as a pious and devout 
Hindu lady, who used to relate to her son the thrilling 
'tales of the famous Hindu heroes of the past from her 
stock of memory and stirred up his spirit by narrating 


to him the stories of the Rawayana, the Mahabharata 
and the Puranas. Thus, there is ample reason to 
endorse the view that Jljabai had an important share in 
moulding the character of her son. To say with 
Justice Ranade : " If ever great men owed their great- 
ness to the inspiration of their mothers, the influence 
of Jljabai was a factor of prime importance in the 
making of Shivaji's career and the chief source of his 
strength." As Shahjl had little time to look after 
the education of his son, he placed him under the 
tuition of his agent, called Dadaji Kondadev. This 
aged Brahnan of immense experience was an able 
administrator of the estates of Shahji. From him the 
young Marhatta imbibed and assimilated much 
that proved him so useful in his subsequent career. 
The education he received comprised in horsemanship, 
hunting and military exercises. It was sufficiently 
supplemented by lessons from the life and personal 
experience of Dadaji himself. The influence exerted on 
the mind of the young lad by Marhatta saints and 
scholars brought home to him the necessity of doing 
something for the cause of his country. ' Unite all 
who are Marathas,' his moral preceptor, Guru Ram Das, 
used to advise him, ' and propagate the Dharma of 
Maharashtra. 1 The Guru convinced him that he had 
been sent to this world on the sacred mission of protect- 
ing the Brahmans and the cow. * Mother and motherland/ 
he used to tell him, ' are dearer than heaven itself, 
why live when religion has perished ; when faith is 
dead, death is better than life/ The seed did not fall' 
on a barren soil. Shivaji's outlook brightened, bts 


mental horizon widened and he now aspired to become 
an independent polygar. The natural scenery oi his 
native-land, the environments of his early life, the 
influence of his mother, teacher and other saints fired 
him with the ambition of carving out an indepedent 
kingdom for himself. 

Born and brought up in Maharashtra, Shivajl had 

_ T ._ made himself familiar with every 

His robberies. J 

nook and corner of that country with 
the help of his Mawali associates. He began his public 
career at the age of nineteen. In 1646 A. C. the Sultan 
of Bijapur fell ill and his illness was followed by 
anarchy and confusion. Taking advantage of this 
opportunity, Shivajl seized upon the stronghold of 
Torna and carried a successful raid into the fort of 
Raigarh, which was easily occupied. He rebuilt 
Raigarh and wrested Supa from his uncle, ShambhujT. 
Fort after fort yielded to the young adventurer. The 
stronghold of Chakan and the outposts of Indapur and 
Baramati passed into his possession in rapid succession. 
The forts of Kondana, Purandhar and Singhgarh were 
captured next and the southern frontier of Shivaji's 
family estate was secured. The Sultan of Bijapur, who 
was taken aback by the aggressive activities of Shivaji, 
would have reduced the young Marhatta to submission ; 
but the friendly intervention of the ministers convinced 
the Darbar that the strongholds were captured in the 
general interest of his family estate. The ambitious 
Marhatta Sardar would not, however, rest on his oars. 
Soon he sent a body of Marhatta horsemen under the 
command of Abaji Sonder against the Konkan, and the 


result was the capture of Kalyan. Next, Shivajl 
marched southwards in the district of Kolaba and 
enlisted the sympathies of the local chiefs in the 
common cause of overthrowing the Muslim yoke. 

The conquest of Kalyan in the Konkan by Shivajl 

and his activities in that country roused 

Seizure and the authorities of Bijapur against 

h^s e flther f him - About this time Shahji was 

arrested and imprisoned by the Sultan, 
either because of his insubordination to Mustafa, the 
Commander-in- Chief of Bijapur, or because of his son's 
encroachments on the teiritory of Bijapur, or both. 
Shivajl was greatly upset at the news of his father's 
imprisonment and the confiscation of his jaglrs. For 
some time he gave up his depredatory pursuits and 
planned to effect the release of his father. With 
this aim in view, he appealed to His Majesty the 
Mughal Emperor through his son, Murad Bakhsh, 
who happened to be in the Deccan at that time. He 
offered his services with the prayer that his father be 
released through his intercession. Shah Jahan acceded 
to his request and enrolled him as a mansabdar of five 
thousand. Under the fear of Imperial intervention, tne 
ruler of Bijapur released Shahji, though he did not 
allow him to quit Bijapur for four years. There is, 
however, another view as to the release of Shahji : It 
is said that it was almost entirely due to the friendly 
intervention and good offices of Sharza Khan and Ran- 
daula Khan, the two influential officers of Bijapur, But 
it must be noted that the release was conditional ; for 
Shivajl remained quiet for about six years (1649 55 A. C.), 


so far as the interests of Bijapur were concerned. 
During this period he kept himself busy in consolidat- 
ing his newly-acquired territory and organizing its 

No sooner was Shahjl released and restored to his 

T jSgir in the Karnatic than his son 

Massacre at Javli. J . 

resumed his relentless raids in the 

South. In order to acquire the tract of land in the 
southern Konkan, Shivaji made overtures to Chandra 
Rao, the Rajah of Javli, who administered that 
tract in the name of the King of Bijapur, to join 
him against the Muslim State. Having failed to 
achieve his object in this way, he sent two agents to 
Javli, outwardly for contracting his alliance with the 
daughter of its Rajah, but in fact for assassinating him. 
The Rajah received the agents with great respect, but 
treacherously enough, the guests put their host to death 
at ' a private interview ', fled from the fort and joined 
Shivaji who had, meanwhile, detailed his troops to the 
Ghats and had himself arrived there to conduct the 
operations in person. The citadel was stormed and 
' the surprise was sudden '. The sons of the Rajah 
put up a vigorous defence, but were eventually taken 
prisoners and done away with in 1655 A. C. at NimgazS 
to the south of Poona. For several days the ladies 
of the late Rajah were kept in confinement at 
Purandhar and then released.* 

*See Bisat-ul-Qhanaim t p. 40 ; Shiva-ChhatrapatZ-Chen Sapta 
prakaram-atmak Charitra, Chitnis, pp, 81-82 ; , and Kalmi 
Bakhar, paras. 28 and 29. Sir Jadunath Sarkar's condonation o 
the above crime is curious. In his own words, 'his (Shivaji's 


Hostilities were renewed when, towards the close 
of 1656 A. C., 'Ali 'Adil Shah of 
^ O e s ^ t f e l s of Bijapur died and Aurangzeb advanc- 

ed against his dominion at that 
opportune moment. Shivaji, who longed for such 
opportunities, was only too glad to seize this one. He 
negotiated with Aurangzeb and became his ally, but 
failed to maintain friendship. He attacked the Mughal 
cities of Ahmadnagar and Junnar. But for the illness 
of Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb would not have left the 
Deccan without punishing the Marhatta brigand. The 
absence of th? MugLal troops from the Deccan left 
Shivaji free to fish in the troubled waters. During the 
war of succession among the sons of Shah Jahan he 
consolidated his power and established his sway over 
his several strongholds. He enlisted in his army the 
disbanded soldiery of Bijapur and renewed his attacks 
on that kingdom. 

The Sultan of Bijapur could not tolerate the 
Afzal Khan's depredations of Shivaji. He ordered 

meetinTwith his father, Shahji, to stop him from 

making encroachments on the ter- 
ritory of that state. Shahji excused himself on the 
plea that his son was not subject to his control. The 
Sultan then sent his able and experienced general, 

power was then in its infancy, and he could not afford to be 
scrupulous in the choice of the means of strengthening himself 1 
(Shivaji and His Times, p. 53). If the soundness of this new rule 
of ethics be admitted, then, mutatis mutandis, the alleged 
misdeeds of 'Alamgir should not be condemned. Sarkar has 
scrupulously adhered to the above rule in the case of his hero, 
Shivaji, but has totally deprived 'Alamgir of its benefit. 


Afzal Khan, with a large force against the Marhattas. 
Shivajl regarded discretion as *he better part of valour. 
He wished to achieve his object by feigning friendship 
with the foe. With honeyed words and rich presents, he 
succeeded in throwing Afzal Khan off his guard. With 
the help of Brahman intermediaries, negotiations were 
opened between the two parties. A spot was fixed as a 
meeting place and it was agreed that they would meet 
unescorted. Shivaji took ample precautions for the 
protection of his person. He put on a coat of chain 
and a steel cap and kept them concealed under his 
embroidered cloak and turban. On the lingers of his 
left hand, he fixed a Baghnakha, or the tiger-claw, and 
carried another native weapon, called Bichhwa, or 
' scorpion', concealed within his right sleeve. Besides, 
he posted his soldiers behind the trees along the route 
of Afzal Khan. Afzal advanced towards the appointed 
place (Javli), attended by a single servant. Shivaji 
descended from his stronghold slowly and came to the 
meeting-place with a timid and hesitating air. He was 
accompanied by a single attendant and was unarmed 
to all appearances. He approached to meet the Kban 
with all humility and Afzal advanced to embrace the 
Marhatta. As soon as the Khan stooped to raise 
Shivajl and embrace him, the short-sized Marhatta 
dispatched him with the deadly weapons he carried 

with him. 

The death of Afzal Kban was at once signalled 

r AT , an d the Marhatta warriors, who were 

Rout of Afzal ... , 

Khan's Army. lying in ambush, sprang up and 

slaughtered their enemies who were 


reposing in their camp. The rout of the army of 
Bijapur was complete. A large booty fell into the 
hands of the Marhattas. 

Even the greatest of men have not, at times, re- 
frained from employing mean methods 
f r Saining their ends. Yet, while 
recording their glorious deeds and 
paying a tribute to their talents, history must also 
register its findings, however damaging, and pronounce 
its verdict, however painful, on their misdeeds. Whereas 
Muslim as well as European writers have uniformly 
condemned the murder of Afzal Khan by Shivaji as a 
most heinous crime, Marhatta authorities, with the 
solitary exception of Kalml Bhaka^ have laid the entire 
blame at the door of Afzal Khan, alleging that while 
trying to strangle the Marhatta, the Khan got himself 
killed. Relying exclusively on the Marhatta sources 
of information, which are materially discrepant and 
contradictory, and discarding totally the testimony of 
contemporary Muslim as well as European historians, 
Ranade, Sarkar and Kincaid have made vigorous efforts 
to whitewash the treachery of their national hero in 
various ways. They have fully exploited their forensic 
eloquence in trying to defend the action of Shivaji on 
the ground that Afzal Khan had formed a plot against 
him and that the Khan himself was caught in the 
cage which he had prepared for the confinement of 
his opponent (Shivaji). The alleged 'plot', based on 
a mere presumption, invented either by Shivaji or his 
votaries, is not unravelled before us. As such, it is 
impossible to believe it. It is stated that when 


Krishnaji, who acted as an intermediary between the 
parties, was invited and appealed to by Shivaji in 
secrecy, he " yielded so far as to hint that the Khan 
seemed to harbour some plan of mischief," and. further 
that having learnt so much, he (Shivaji) sent the envoy 
(Krishnaji) back with his own agent, Gopinath Pant, 
11 who learnt by a lavish use of bribes that AfzaPs 
officers were convinced that ' he had so arranged 
matters that Shivaji would be arrested at the interview, 
as he was too cunning to be caught by open fight.' " 
There is not a tinge of truth in the above statements. 
They are not warranted by Afzal K]]an v conduct and 
behaviour either before or during the interview. Even 
the most unimaginative plotter would not venture to 
launch his plot against his enemy before chalking out a 
programme, weighing the chances of his success and 
marking out a line of retreat. Afzal was not so foolish 
as to set out on his alleged mission of entrapping 
Shivaji without taking precautions and making prepara- 
tions necessary for a plot. He was selected and sent 
against Shivaji by the Bijapur Government because he 
was regarded as a great military commander. The fact 
is that he was honesi in his dealings with Shivaji. If he 
had formed a * plot ', he must have taken someone into 
confidence and issued necessary instructions to his 
officers. That he did nothing to this effect and appeared 
at the interview unarmed and un-escorted leaves room 
for the only presumption that he boasted of his superior 
physical strength, disdained to take any force with him 
and desired to achieve his object single-handed. But it 
is generally admitted that he had started on this 


expedition with 10,000 soldiers, who, however, were 
left behind when objected to by ShivajI's envoy. Like- 
wise, the presence of Sayyad Banda, a famous 
swordsman who accompanied the Khan, was objected to 
and he too was left behind. All this and the fact that 
after his murder his army was taken by surprise and 
routed conclusively prove that Afzal had made no 
preparations which might even remotely suggest that he 
' intended treachery '. The rout of the army that was 
attacked unawares shows that Afzal's officers had no 
knowledge of the alleged ' plot ' and had received no 
instructions fiDm their commander. Consequently, one 
is at a loss to understand how Gopinath was able to 
learn from his officers that he had formed a ' plot '. It 
is also stated that Afzal had publicly boasted of bringing 
Shivaji alive to the Bijapur Darbar, and that before a 
faqlr, who belonged to the Marhatta Secret Service. 
The story of Afzal's boasting before a Marhatta spy 
puts too much strain on our credulity. Professor 
Sarkar says that at the interview Afzal c held Shiva's 
neck in his left arm within iron-grip, while with his 
right hand he drew his long straight-bladed dagger and 
struck at the side of Shiva '.* Whereas Kincaid avers 

* According to Prof. Sarkar, Afzal used a long straight-bladed 
dagger, whereas Kincaid avers that he tried to stab Shivaji at 
his side with a sword. We learn from the Shiva Bharat 
(Ch. XXI) that before Afzal embraced Shivaji, he had discarded 
his sword. Muslim and European authorities inform us that 
Afzal was unarmed when he went to meet Shivaji. When ' the 
display of force ' and the presence of Sayyad Banda were 
objected to, there is every reason to believe that either Afzal did 
not carry any weapon with him, or if he had carried one, it must 
have been objected to and discarded. 


that there was at first an exchange of hot words between 
the Khan and the Marhatta and then the former caught 
hold of the latter by his neck. If the ' Khan, enraged 
at the taunt, seized with the left arm Shivaji by the 
neck, forcing his head under his arm pit/ as is averred 
by Kincaid, then where is the element of the treachery 
alleged ? As apart from this, can Afzal Khan, who is 
alleged to have attended the interview with the inten- 
tion of killing him by treachery, be said to have 
* addressed Shivaji in insulting tones '? And, when 
Shivaji was to be ' arrested alive/ as is alleged, why did 
Afzal try to * sUangle ' him or 'stao him at his side * 
while he was in his embrace and did not order his 
attendants to arrest him or dispatch him, if he so 
desired ? Obviously, nothing was pre-arranged by 
Afzal. If he had taken precautions and made neces- 
sary preparations beforehand, he would have issued 
instructions to his soldiers and warned them to be on 
the alert, and both he and his army would not have 
fallen so easy a prey to the Marhatta marauders. The 
fact that they were taken unawares and killed conclusively 
proves the bona-fides of Afzal Kban and shows that 
there was no ' plot ; whatsoever. All this exonerates 
the Khan and establishes his innocence. On the other 
hand, it was Shivaji who invited his adversary (Afzal) 
to an interview at a suitable spot selected by himself, 
posted his soldiers on the route of Afzal Khan's army, 
issued necessary instructions to his officers, armed 
himself with the native weapons, Wagnakha and 
Bichhwa, donned a steel cap, put on an iron coat, 
proceeded to the selected spot * fully equipped/ objected 


to the ' display of force * and ' the presence of Sayyad 
Banda', appeared before the Khan in all humility, 
stabbed him while in his embrace at the interview, made 
a signal to his soldiers who lay in ambush, and routed 
the Muslim army facts which form important links in 
the chain of the plot contrived and cleverly conducted 
by Shivajl and not by Afzal Khan. 

The murder of Afzal Khan and the rout of the 
Bijapurls emboldened Shivajl who 

. of next carried his . arms into the nei & h - 

bouring territories. He seized the 
stronghold cf Panhcila and a number of other forts and 
even threatened Bijapur itself. He attacked Rajhpur 
and Dabhal and extended his dominions further South 
along the banks of the Krishna. In all these campaigns 
he obtained immense booty, which he put to its best 

'AH 'Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur, was alarmed 
at Shivaji's acts of aggression. In 
1660 A. C. he put his generals to 
their last trumps to cut short the 
Marhatta menace. While Shivajl was occupied in 
strengthening the stronghold of Panhala, the Bijapurls 
attacked him from three directions. Panhala was 
invested by Sidi Johar and the siege lasted for four 
months. Shivajl was reduced to sore straits and he 
would have been forced to surrender if he had not 
escaped to the stronghold of Vishalgarh in a dark night 
after he had amused the besiegers with the prospect of 
a capitulation. His escape was ascribed in the Bijapur 
Darbar to the treachery of Sidi Johar, the commander- 


in-chief of the forces of BijSpur. 'Adil Shah now took 
the field in person. At the bead of a huge army, he 
advanced against his enemy and captured the forts of 
Panhala, Pavangarh and some other places. His 
victorious campaign continued till the rainy season, and 
he would have compelled Shivajl to ask for forgiveness 
if the rains had not set in and if the Sultan had not 
been called to the Karnatic to deal with the rebellion of 
Sidi Johar. 

Hostilities ceased, and Shahji was appointed to 
ou- p . negotiate the terms of treaty with his 

Independent son on behalf of the Sultan. As a 

result of these negotiations, Shivaji 
was acknowledged as the independent ruler of the 
territory lying between Kalyan in the north and Ponda 
in the south and Indapur in the east and Dabhal in the 
west an area more than 150 miles in length and 100 
miles in breadth. As for Shivaji, he promised to be at 
peace with Bijapur during the lifetime of his father. At 
the instance of his father, he made Rairi his capital and 
renamed it as Raigarh. There he maintained an army 
of 7,000 horse and 60,000 foot. 

Shivaji now felt himself strong enough to extend 
his ravages to the dominions of the 
Great Mughal. In order to put an 
end to his aggressions, the Emperor 
had appointed Sbaista KJban as Viceroy of the Deccan. 
The Mughal Viceroy drove the Marhattas out of the 
field and captured the fort of Chakan. Next, he occupi- 
ed Poona without opposition and took up his abode in 
the very house in which Shivaji had passed his early 


days. The Marhatta was thoroughly familiar with every 
nook and corner of the city and all the ins and outs of 
the house. Availing himself of local knowledge, he 
entered the city along with a marriage party of four 
hundred men, each of whom was a trained warrior. 
The Khan, who had cantoned his troops around him 
and had taken necessary precautions for his personal 
safety, was reposing in his harem when all of a sudden 
Shivaji entered his former residence and raided the room 
in which the Khan was fast asleep. In the general 
melee that followed, Shaista Khan's son, Abul Path, 
lost his life, ~nd he himself received a blow which cut off 
two of his own fingers. With great difficulty, he escap- 
ed to Aurangabad, whence he was called back by the 
Emperor and transferred to the governorship of Bengal. 
The city of Surat was at that time the most opul- 
ent and beautiful of its class on the 
Sack of Surat. . 

western coast. Early in the year 

1664 A. C. Shivaji deceived his enemies by a number 
of feigned movements and swooped down on the rich 
and defenceless city with as many as four thousand 
horse and carried away immense booty which he safely 
lodged in the stronghold of Rairi, or Raigarh. The 
sack of Surat was an exploit far more profitable than 
the Poona escapade. It amply added to the resources 
of Shivaji and considerably increased his prestige in the 
Marhatta country. 

About this time Shahji died in the Doab of the 

Tungabhadra where he was engaged 

Shivaji's assump. {n suppressing the re bellion of the 

tion of mdepend- t ^ 

ent sovereignty, nobles of that place. On the death 


of his father, Shivaji assumed the title of Rajah, 
which the Sultan of Ahmadnagar had conferred on his 
father in return for his meritorious services. He now 
began to coin money in his own name to mark his 
independent authority and undertook plundering expedi- 
tions along the coast, which greatly harassed the 
pilgrims going to Mecca and the merchants engaged in 
trade between India and other countries. 

In order to put an end to the high-handedness of 
Shivaji, Aurangzeb dispatched an 
^h U e b Emperor. efficient army under the command of 
Prince Mu'azzarr, with whom were 
associated experienced generals. Sardar Jaswant Singh 
was appointed as second-in-command. He made a few 
useless attempts to bring the Marhatta Chief to book, 
but nothing substantial was achieved. Both the Prince 
and his lieutenant were called back and Rajah Jai Singh 
and Daler Khan were appointed in their place, and with 
them were associated some experienced generals. The 
new commanders laid siege to Singhgarh and Purandhar, 
respectively. Both the places held out heroically, but 
Shivaji seemed to have lost every hope of success and 
so opened negotiations. Receiving assurances not only 
of safety but of a special favour also, he quietly with- 
drew from his ranks and came to the camp of Rajah 
Jai Singh. 

The result of the interview between Shivaji and 

Jai Singh was the Treaty of Purand- 
Purandhar. har, which embodied the following 

terms : (1) Shi vSJI agreed to surrender 
twenty-three of his forts and retain only twelve as bis 


jagir. (2) He stipulated that he would pay to 'Alamgir 
forty lakhs of Huns in thirteen instalments if lands 
yielding an annual revenue of four lakhs of Huns in 
the Konkan and five lakhs in the Balaghat-Bijapur 
were granted to him. (3) The eldest son of Shivaji was 
promised a rank of five thousand. (4) He himself 
agreed to assist Aurangzeb in his military expeditions 
against his enemies. After the conclusion of the treaty, 
its terms were communicated to the Emperor who duly 
confirmed them. It took three months to reduce 
Shivaji to submission and to enlist his support for the 
Mughal Emoeror. Shivaji, on his part, rendered good 
services to the Mughals in their wars against Bijapur. 
During the six months that followed the Treaty of 
Purandhar, Jai Singh turned his 
Attention towards the Kingdom of 
Bijapur. Shivaji took a conspicuous 
part in this expedition and contributed much to the 
success of the Mughal arms in the Deccan. Joining 
the Mughals with two thousand horse and seven 
thousand infantry, he reduced Phaltan and Thatwada 
and directed an attack on Panhala in the Konkan. 
Pleased with his success in the early part of the cam- 
paign, the Emperor sent him a jewelled-sword and a 
robe of honour. The siege of Panhala was not a 
success, but Shivaji's support was indispensable in 
seizing some strongholds. It was about this time that 
he received an invitation from the Emperor to the 
Mughal Court. Receiving assurances of safety, the 
Marhatta Sardar accepted the invitation. Putting the 
administration of his territory into the hands of his 


mother and a council of three competent officers, he set 
out towards Agra about the third week of March 1066 
A. C. with his son, Sambhuji At the Imperial Capital, 
he was received by two Imperial officers, viz., Ram 
Singh, son of Jai Singh, and Amir Mukhlis Khan. 
When he reached the Imperial Court, the Emperor was 
celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his birthday. 
Ram Singh ushered him into the Darbar, and he 
presented 1,500 gold pieces as a nazat to the Emperor, 
and a pesbkasb of rupees 6,000. After the formal 
reception, he was enrolled as a mansabdar of 5,000 
horse.* The treatment meted out to him, it is alleged, 
fell far short of the expectations he had formed and the 
promises held out to him by Jai Singh. His pride was 
touched to the quick when he found himself seated 
among the third grade nobles. In a fit of anger he lost 
his balance and used bold words of reproach for ' Alamgir. 
His conduct at the Court was insulting and insolent, 
and as a result, he was not granted any robes of honour. 
The following day he found himself a political prisoner 
in his house. Petitions sent to the Emperor for his 
release were rejected. In vain he protested his loyalty 
to the Mughal throne. He offered his services in con- 
quering the kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda, but 
the Emperor would not listen to his remonstrances. In 
spite of his repeated requests, he was not granted a 
private interview. 

* The mansab of 5,000 was not an inferior one. Those who 
held a mansab of 1,000 were called Umara-i-Kibar or great 
nobles. For a long list of the dignitaries enjoying a mansab of 
5,000 each, see Aurangzeb and His Times, pp. 360 ff. 


Critics, who say that 'Alamgir could have gained 

the good-will of Shivaji and ended the 
Was the honour i .. i .. 

conferred upon Marhatta menace by meting out r. 

him below his more generous treatment to him, are, 

dignity ? 

perhaps, unaware that Rajah Rai 

Karan of Udaipur, than whom there was no more res- 
pectable Rajah, was granted a mansab of 5,000 by 
Jahanglr when he became subordinate to the Central 
Government and that Rana Raj Singh too was enlisted 
as a mansabdar of 5,000 by 'Alamgir when he acknow- 
ledged him as his suzerain. Shivajl, it will be admitted, 
was not a greater personality than the Ranas of 
Udaipur. Apart from this, when ShivajI's father 
entered the service of Shah Jahan, he was given a 
mansab of 5,000. As a matter of fact, none except the 
members of the Imperial family was granted a greater 
mansab than this in th^ beginning. It must be remem- 
bered that Shivajl came to the Mughal Court in the 
capacity of a conquered and that his conqueror, Mirza 
Rajah Jai Singh, also held the same mansab, i. e., 
5,000, which was afterwards raised to 7,000 in recogni- 
tion of his meritorious services against the Marhattas. It 
is true that the Rajah gave him assurances of becoming 
treatment, but nowhere does he appear to have 
promised to secure for him a greater mansab than that 
he himself enjoyed, and even if he did hold out too 
high hopes to him on his own account in order to 
succeed in his mission, the fault does not lie with 
'Alamgir. It must as well be pointed out here that 
Fazil Khan, the Prime Minister, was at that time no 
more than a mansabdar of 5,000* Do the critics 


mean that 'Alamglr would have acted wisely if he had 
granted Sh.ivajl a greater mansab than that held by the 
mansabdars mentioned above t Obviously enough, 
'Alamgir could not grant him a greater mansab than 
that of the Ranas of Udaipur, the Prime Minister and 
Rajah Jai Singh. The career and character of Shivajl 
are a sufficient guarantee of the fact that a mansab of 
7,000, or even more, would not have satisfied him. 

A word might well be said about 'Alamglr's attitude 
towards the sons and relatives of Shivajl. In spite of 
their hostilities, they were treated with great kindness 
by the Emperor: ShivajI's son, SambhujT, and his son- 
in-law, NathujT, were granted a mansab of 5,000 each 
at the recommendation of Mirza Rajah Jai Singh, who 
had reduced the Marhattas to sore straits. SahujI was 
honoured with the title of Rajah and a mansab of 
7,000 was conferred upon him. This is how 'Alamgir 
treated the relatives of Shivaji ; and how they repaid 
this kind treatment, will be seen in the subsequent 

In the middle of August Shivaji fell ill. After his 
recovery, he sent rich presents to the 

His escape from Brahmans in big baskets. In two of 

these baskets, he and his son, 

Sambhuji, made good their escapes. At a distance of 
six miles from Agra some horses were waiting for him 
and his son. Disguising himself as an ascetic, he soon 
found his way to Mathura. Avoiding the vigilant eye 
of the Imperial Police, he hastened to his home in the 
Deccan, passing through eastern Bengal, Orissa and 
Gondwana. He reached his capital in the month of 


December after an absence of nine months. Sambhuji, 
it may be said here, was left at Mathura and was 
brought back later on. Aurangzeb was greatly annoyed 
at the escape of Shivaji which was arranged with the 
connivance of Ram Singh who was therefore deprived 
of his pay and rank.* 

The conquest of the Kingdom of Bijapur was by 

Recall of Jai no means an eas y affair - J ai Sin g h 

Singh and his had succeeded in detaching 

death * from that kingdom and the treaty of 

Purandhar was a master-stroke of diplomacy. Free 
from further troubles from the Marhattas, he organized 
a punitive expedition against 'All 'Adil Shah. He had 
40,000 troopers at his disposal. He was joined by 
Shivaji, along with his experienced officers. More- 
over, he was assisted by Daler Khan, Daud Khan, 
Rajah Rai Singh Sesodia, Netoji Palkar and other dis- 
tinguished generals. But the Imperialists did not meet 
with any great success ; for the capital of Bijapur was 
well protected by the Bijapurls, who were assisted by 
an army from Golconda. Finding his army face to 
face with starvation, Jai Singh decided upon a retreat 
on the 5th of January 1666 A.C. The retreat was disas- 
trous. The Bijapurls now attacked the Mughal forces 
and inflicted heavy losses on them in men and 
material. At once the Rajah was called back and the 
viceroyalty of the Deccan was entrusted to Prince 
Mu'azzam and Rajah Jaswant Singh was appointed as 
his adjutant. Jai Singh died soon after his recall. 

* SeeStoriado Mogor, Vol. ii, p. 139; FatuKdt-i-'Alamgiri ; 
and 'Alamgirnamah, p. 917. 


The change of officers was not at all for the better. 
ShivSji styles Rajah Jaswant Singh was no loyal 

himself Rajah. se rvant of the Emperor. He was 

favourably disposed towards Shiva j! and was interested 
in the rise of the Marhattas. Daler Khan was not liked 
by the Prince and was, therefore, sent away to Bidar. 
The Prince could do nothing alone. Moreover, a 
Persian invasion threatened the Punjab and an army 
was dispatched there to ward off the Persians. About 
this time, the Yusafzals also revolted in Peshawar and 
harassed the Mughals for full one year. All these facts 
combined to contribute to the chances of f success of the 
Marhatta Chief who found an open field for himself. 
But knowing too well the consequences *of provoking the 
Mughal authorities, ShivajT remained quiet between 
1668 and 1669 A. C. and utilized his time in the 
organization of his administrption Through the inter- 
cession of Rajah Jaswant Singh, who was very friendly 
disposed towards him, 'Alarngir agreed to negotiate a 
treaty with ShivajT, whereby the latter was acknowledged 
as the independent ruler of Maharashtra and the title of 
Rajah was conferred upon him. A jagir was also 
granted to him in Berar and his son, SambhujI, was con- 
firmed in his mansab. With the exception of Puran- 
dhar and Singhgarh, the Emperor promised to restore 
all forts to Shivajl. The treaty concluded in March 1668 
A. C. lasted till 1670 A. C. 

Soon after the conclusion of the treaty with 

He exacts Chauth Sh iv ^ 'fjng&r agreed to a peace- 

and Surdeshmukhi treaty with the Sutlan of Bijapur. 

from Bnapur and The Sultan promised to cede the 

Golconda. an d a territory 


yielding 1,80,000 pagodas as revenue. Shivajl pressed 
his claims for the exaction of Chauth and Surdeshmukht 
from Bijapur and Golconda. Though the claims were 
not fully recognized, the two kings agreed to pay 
some annual tribute ; the king of Bijapur, 3 J lakhs and 
the king of Golconda, 5 lakhs. This extraordinary 
tribute was paid to Shivaji in order to maintain peace 
with the Marhattas. 

Hostilities between Shivajl and the Great Mughal 

_ , , were renewed in 1670 A. C. when the 

Renewal of 

hostilitiesjind former launched upon a fresh career 

sack of Surat. Q{ conquests> He recO nquered many 

of his forts from the Mughals and his soldiers carried 
with great caution the capture of Singhgarh, Purandhar, 
Mahuli, Karnalla and Lohgarh. Lack of discipline in the 
Mughal Camp and quarrels among the Imperial officers 
enabled Shivajl to carry his raids into the neighbouring 
countries. His officers exacted promises of collecting 
Chauth and Surdesfamukhi, for the first time, from the 
districts immediately under the Mughal Government. 
For a second time he sacked the city of Surat and 
acquired an enormous booty. He was now at the 
height of his power and was regarded by the Hindus 
as the restorer of their freedom. 

By the year 1674 A. C. Shivaji's mastery over 
Coronation of Maharashtra was complete. Dis- 

ghivaji:l674. patches of victory from all sides, 

continued success in all quarters and prosperity within his 
kingdom persuaded him to crown himself at his capital, 
Raigarh. This he did with full Vedic rights and cere- 
monies, and henceforth he was acknowledged as the 

1 1 I I I 

Shivajl's Kingdom In 1680 A.C 

To fact tap 34 1 


independent ruler of the Marhatta country. Following 
the example of the Hindu Kings of old, he established 
a new era which commenced from the date of his 

Finding that 'Alamgir was entangled in hostilities 
with the Afghan tribes on the 
North-West Frontier, Shivaji extended 
his conquests further South. From 
1676 A. C. to 1680 A. C. he conducted a successful 
campaign in the South. He annexed Jinji, Vellore and 
many other important places to his Kingdom. He con- 
quered a considerable portion of the Vijayanagar 
Empire and was making preparations for the final strug- 
gle with 'Alamgir ; but before he launched his new 
scheme, he was carried away by death in 1680 A. C. at 
the age of fifty-three. 

The Kingdom of Shivaji comprised a long narrow 
Extent of his strip of land, consisting of the Western 

Kingdom. Ghatg and the Konkan between Kalyan 

and Goa. The extreme breadth of this Kingdom from 
east to west was about 100 miles. In the south the 
provinces, which had been conquered towards the close of 
Shivaji's career, comprised the western Karnatic and the 
territories extending from Belgaum to the bank of the 
river Tungabhadra, Later on, Jinji and Vellore were 
also added to the Marhatta Kingdom. 

Shivaji was a good administrator and a great 
His civil organizer. Both in the civil and 

administration. mi iit a r y departments he displayed 
considerable tact and ability. Practically illiterate, he 


devised an excellent system of administration for his 
Kingdom, It was based on the ancient Hindu system 
and was conducted in accordance with the principles 
laid down in the codes of Sukracharya and Kautilya. 
There was a Council of State, known as the Asfata 
Pradhan, or Mukhya Pradhan. It consisted of eight 
members, each in charge of a separate department. 
The Prime Minister was known as Pesfawa, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief was called Sarainaiibat, or Senapati, 
and the Finance Minister was named Mojmu'adar, or 
Amatya. Home and foreign affairs were controlled and 
conducted by Sharutii+vis, or Sachiv. The Minister of 
War bore the name of Dabir, or Sumant. Justice was 
administered by Nayayadish and the Minister of 
Religion was given the name of Danadhyaksha. This 
was the Central Government of Shivaji. There were 
as many as eighteen departments of public service 
under him and the portfolio of each department was 
held by a separate minister. 

For purposes of effective and efficient administra- 

Administrative tion S^J 1 divided the whole of his 

divisions of his Kingdom into three provinces an<* 
Kingdom. . r 

stationed a viceroy m each of them. 

The administrative system followed in these provinces 
was a replica of the Central Government. Each 
province was sub-divided into districts, having a distinct 
staff of officials. Each district was organized on the 
model of the Central Government and every district 
officer had eight subordinate officials to deal with the 
work of correspondence, accounts, treasury and other' 
important matters. 


As is mentioned before, justice was dealt out by the 

Nayayadisfa, who was guided in his 

Administration work by the principles laid down in the 

of justice. J r r 

codes of Sukracharya and Kautilya. 
There was also a Hindu Sfaastri, appointed especially for 
the purpose of expounding Hindu law and dealing with 
religious, criminal and astronomical matters. The time- 
honoured and immemorial institution of Panchayat was 
in vogue. It was an important instrument of dealing 
out justice. Almost all civil disputes were decided 
by it. 

Shivajl also re-organized the entire system of the 

land revenue and based it on that of 
Svenufsystcm. hi * <*rly tutor, Dadajl Kandadev. 

The land in every province was 
measured and an estimate was made of the expected 
produce of each blgha. Three parts of this produce were 
left to the peasant and two parts were appropriated by 
the State as its own share. The revenue settlements 
were made annually. The revenue officials were appoint- 
ed directly by the Central Government. They were mostly 
Brahmans. Their duty was to collect the land revenue 
and remit it to the State Treasury along with the accounts. 
The existing practice of farming out land revenue to 
hereditary landlords (mirasdars) was abandoned and 
henceforth the dues of the State were to be collected 
by the officers of the State. In order to encourage 
cultivation, liberal advances were made to the 
cultivators from the State Treasury to enable them to 
purchase seeds, bullocks, ploughs and otheri agricultural, 
implements, etc. 


ShivSJI was a great military genius, endowed with 
uncommon organizing capacity. He 

united the Marhatta chiefs and tribes 
in a common cause, the cause of their 

own country. He wielded the scattered Marhattas into 
a nation, thus giving rise to a third party in the Deccan. 
His army consisted of both infantry and cavalry, having 
a sensible gradation of officers. In the infantry there 
was a Naik over every nine privates, a Havildar over 
every five Naiks and forty-five privates, ajamaldar 
over every three Havildars and one hundred and thirty- 
five privates, and G\rer ten Jamaldars there was a 
Hazan, having as many as one thousand, three hundred 
and fifty privates under his command. It may be 
noted at this place that the Sarainaubat, or Commander- 
in-Chief, in the infantry was quite a different man from 
the officer of his rank in the cavalry. In the latter, the 
unit was formed by twenty-five troopers. Over twenty- 
five troopers was a Havildar, over five Havildars or one 
hundred and twenty-five troopers was a Jamaldar and 
over ten Jamaldars there was a Hazart, having as 
many as one thousand, two hundred and twenty-five 
cavaliers under his command. Still higher ranks 
were those of the Supreme Commander or Sarainaubat, 
and the Panj-hazarls or those having command over 
five thousand soldiers. Every squadron of twenty-five 
troopers was provided with a water-carrier and a ferrier. 
Soldiers whose horses were supplied by the State were 
called Bargls and those who supplied their own horses 
were called liledars. The troops in the main consisted 
of spearsmen, mounted on light but strong and hardy 


ponies. They were the peasant proprietors of Southern 
India, who could be easily called together and dispersed. 
Except at seed-time and harvest, they were always 
available for war. Their equippage was of the simplest 
kind and no elaborate commissariat arrangements were 
required. An ordinary blanket and a bag of grams were 
sufficient to meet their wants. Shivajl maintained his 
military department in a high state of efficiency. He 
paid his soldiers by a part of the plunder, himself 
receiving the lion's share. He introduced the system 
of branding horses and keeping descriptive rolls. 
Under him the post of a military officer 'vas not here- 
ditary. His army was free from the curse of female 
followers. He ordered that " no man was to take with 
him his wife, mistress or prostitute to the battle-field " 
Since forts played a conspicuous part in Maharashtra, 
they were properly provided with arms and ammunitions 
and placed in charge of responsible and trustworthy 

Shivaji added to his military strength by building 

-,,.., n a considerable number of ships. He 

Shivaji 's fleet. r 

stationed his fleet at Kolaba. Two 
advantages accrued to him from this: (1) it checked 
the growing power and influence of the Abyssinian 
pirates of Janjlra, and (2) it plundered the rich cargoes of 
the Mughal ships sailing for Mecca. The fleet was a 
constant source of trouble to the Hajls sailing for Mecca. 
Shivaji's place in history rests mainly on his personal 

_. . . , . achievements, both military and admi- 

Shivaji s estimate. . . ' . _ , . . _ 

nistrative. To rise from the position of 

a petty Jagirdar to that of the Maharajah of Maharashtra 


and to carve out an independent kingdom for himself 
was no mean achievement, though it must be acknow- 
ledged that Shivajl had grown fat at ill-gotten gains. To 
his reckless courage and prowess in battle he added 
caution and cleverness in commensurate proportions. 
His success was due as much to bravery as to cunning 
and fraud. He never refrained from taking recourse to 
treachery if it served his purpose. The murder of Chandra 
Rao of Javli and of Afzal Khan of Bijapur was each an 
act of treachery treachery * that does not disappear in the 
multitude of his good qualities'. He was indeed the 
Machiavali o f India, with whom the ends justified the 
means. He has been called ' the father of fraud,' not 
unreasonably. None of his enemies surpassed or even 
equalled him in guile and deceit. In private life he 
was simple, straightforward and even pious. Although 
an orthodox Hindu, he never persecuted the Musalmans 
for their faith, that in an age when his co-religionists 
never missed an opportunity of destroying mosques and 
defiling the Qur'an. Khafi Khan, a contemporary 
chronicler, informs us that whenever his soldiers went 
on plundering expeditions, they were ordered not to do 
harm to the mosques,* the Book ox God or the woman 
of anyone. With him women's honour was safe. He 
never allowed his followers to enslave the prisoners 
of war. He was bold, active and resourceful, and no 
other Hindu displayed such courage and capacity as he in 

*But for one instance of demolishing mosques and that 
referred to by Afzal Khan in his message to Shivajl, I have not 
come across any evidence to show that Shivajl ever destroyed' 
mosques. For the passage relating to the destruction of 
mosques by Shivajl, vide Shiva Bharat, Chapter XVIII. 


Muslim India, with the solitary exception of Rana 
Pratap, who was doubtless his superior in personal character 
and nobility of purpose. Though regarded as their 
saviour by the Hindus, he was not at all fired with the 
flarne of patriotism, much less with the desire of 
liberating his co-religionists from the yoke of Muslim 
rule. He fought Hindus and Muslims alike for his 
personal aggrandisement. Whatever his shortcomings, 
it is impossible to challenge his greatness. He was 
indeed the last constructive genius that Hindu India 
has produced. 




Conquest of Bijapur and Golconda End of Marhatta 

Menace Suppression of the Sikhs Anglo-Mughal 

War Administration under 'Alamgir. 

Aurangzeb had tried almost all his trusted officers 

in the conquest of the Deccan ; but 
Introductory. J 

when they all failed, he was 

convinced that the only course open to him was to 
conduct the campaign against the Deccan in person. 
After making peace with the Rajputs, he gathered 
together his grand army at Ahmadnagar and continuad 
as emperor that forward policy the annexation of the 
Deccan which he had so brilliantly commenced as his 
father's lieutenant. Of the five off-shoots of the 
Bahmani Kingdom, Bidar, Ahmadnagar and Berar had 
fallen to his arms as a prince in command of the 
Shahjahani forces during the reign of his father. The 
remaining two, i.e., Bijapur and Golconda, struggled and 
survived longer, as we have noticed ; but the Emperor 
was bent upon destroying them root and branch. The 
main cause of their conquest was evidently the ambition 
of the Mughal Emperor ; the faults found with them 
may be summarised as follows : (1) These Sultanates 
were Shia m faith. (2) Their tributes had fallen in 
arrears. (3) They incurred the wrath of the Emperor 


by supplying resources to the Marhattas in the form bf 
black-mail. (4) They sought protection with the Shah 
of Persia rather than with the Emperor of India.* 
(5) They were not only independent in spirit but were 
also rich in resources ; they might profitably be included 
in the Mughal Empire. (6) Finally, their internal 
dissensions also stimulated 'Alamglr in no less degree to 
carry out his designs. 

Dividing his grand army into two main parts, 

^ 1f f n 'Alamgir ordered Prince Mu'azzam to 

Fall of Bijapur. , 

march against the Marhattas at the 

head of one division and Prince 'Azam against Bijapur 
at the head of another. The former penetrated far into 
the interior of the Konkan, but was driven back with 
heavy losses. The latter succeeded in capturing 
Sholapur, but he too was forced to beat a retreat when 
he attacked Bijapur itself. In 1684 A. C. Prince 
Mu'azzam was next entrusted with the conquest of 
Bijapar, but he annoyed his father by making peace 
with the Sultan. Early in 1685 A.C. 'Alamgir sent a 
firman to the Sultan (Sikandar 'Adil Shah), asking him 
to dismiss his Wazir, Sharza Khan (also known as 
Sayyad Makhdum), who was an excellent soldier and 
statesman ; to supply provisions to the Mughal army ; 
to send a contingent of 5 or 6 thousand cavalry to fight 
for the Mughals against their enemies ; to allow free 
passage to the Imperial armies through his country ; to 

*They were justified in looking to the Shah of Persia for 
protection because the Mughal Emperors had definitei / decided 
to destroy their independence and to incorporate them in the 
Mughal Empire. 


boycott the Marhattas and to help the Mughal Emperor 
in the time of need. The Sultan not only declined 
to obey the Imperial firman, but demanded the return 
.of the tribute and the territory already taken from him 
either by the Mughals or by the Marhattas, and pressed 
for stopping the Thanabandi (formation of outposts 
or block-houses by the Mughals) within his dominions. 
Then he made an alliance with the Sultan of Golconda 
and invited the Marhattas to his aid. When, feeling 
strong and secure, he attacked the Mughal outposts, the 
Emperor himself marched against him at the head of a 
huge army. In April, 1686 A.C. he laid siege to 
Bijapur. After a short but stout resistance, the city, 
falling short of provisions, capitulated in September, 
1686 A.C. Sikandar 'Adil Shah, who saw safety in 
surrender, was enlisted as a Mansabdar and his 
kingdom was annexed to the Mughal Empire. 

Bijapur annexed, the turn of Golconda came next. 

^ r ~ , 3 In addition to the faults found with 
Fall of Golconda. t , , . _ . _ 

the Kingdom of Bijapur, Golconda 

furnished three more : (1) It had a number of Hindu 
ministers, two of whom, viz., Madanna and Akanna, 
who were at the helm of administrative affairs in the 
State, were extremely cruel to the Muslim population.* 
(2) Its king had given help to Sambhuji against 
'Alamgir. (3) It had sided with Bijapur in its war 

* For the cruelties committed by Madanna and Akann'a,. 
vide Aura,igzeb and His Times, pp. 305 ff. Speaking about these 
two Hindus, Orme says, their 'rule was insolent, mean and 
avaricious '. (Fragments, p. 147.) 


against the Mughals.* Golconda was besieged. The 
Sultan (Abul Hasan), who had hitherto led an easy 
and luxurious life, gave up his pleasures and pastimes, 
and defended his capital with such courage that 
'Alamgir found it difficult to conquer it. In defending 
his reputation, which was at stake, the Sultan was 
nobly served by his general, Abdur Razzaq, who stood 
firm and faithful to his master to the last moment of 
his life. When 'Alamgir found it impossible to achieve 
his object by force, the treachery of one of the officers 
of the garrison enabled him to gain admittance into the 
fortress. Abul Hasan was taken prisoiter and his 
kingdom was incorporated in the Mughal Empire. 

Historians have rightly spun a halo of heroism 

Abdur Razzaq. r Und Abdur RaZZ ^> the Valiant 

hero of the State, whose noble pre- 
sence was highly prized in the hla army. No amount 
of money could induce him to surrender to the Mughal 
anus. He fought bravely in a hand to hand fight till 
at last he fell down, covered with seventy wounds. 
His sterling qualities of head and heart exacted praises 
from friends and foes alike. 'Alamgir was so much 
impressed by his character that he put him under the 

*"When Aurangzeb tried conclusions with the King of 
Golkonda, the crimes he alleged were these : high-handedness, 
oppression, permitting public dnnking-shops, women of evil life, 
and gambling houses, appointing Hindu Governors, maintaining 
temples and not allowing to Muhammadans that free liberty 
which they were entitled to. Therefore, God had made him 
(Aurangzeb) King for the suppression of all thv se disorders 
allowed by Abul Hasan." (See Storia do Mogor by 4 V. Manucci, 
Vol. III. pp. 131-32.) 


treatment of his own private physician and got him 
healed. " Had Abul Hasan had but two such servants, " 
said 'Alamgir, " his fortress could never have been 
taken." What a virtue is chivalry even in a foe ! 

The greatest political blunder recorded in the 
Impolicy of the annals of Indian history is alleged 
Deccan Conquest. to have been the conquest of the 
Southern Sultanates by 'Alamglr. The reasons 
advanced may be enumerated as follows : (1) Conse- 
quent upon the conquest of Bijapur and Gloconda, 
the armies of thes^ States were disbanded and the 
discharged soldiery took service under the Marhattas and 
swelled their ranks. (2) The Sultanates exercised a 
healthy check on the growing power and increasing 
influence of the Marhattas in Indian politics. Their 
destruction removed this check for good and freed the 
Marhatta marauders from all fear of local rivalry and 
offered them a free field against the Mughal Emperor. 
(3) The protracted and expensive war against the Deccan 
exhausted the Mughal resources in men and material. 
As a result, the Mughal soldiers murmured for arrears 
and were allowed to quit the Imperial Army if they 
so desired. Again, the unemployed soldiers joined the 
Marhattas. (4) The continued absence of 'Alamgir 
from the North resulted in the administration of that 
part of the country growing slack and corrupt. 
(5) Finally, the annexation of the Deccan Kingdoms 
immensely increased the extent of the Mughal Empire 
and madeAt " too big to be ruled by one man from the 
centre." It is argued by the critics of 'Alamglr that he 


would have acted wisely if he had left the Sultanates 
of the Deccan alone until he had completely crushed 
the Marhattas ; that he should have buried the old 
enmity between the Shias and the Sunnis and united 
the arms of Islam against the Hindu confederacy which 
had assumed most threatening dimensions ; or that he 
should have allowed the Marhattas and the Shias to 
use up their strength in mutual warfare because there 
existed a fierce rivalry between them ; and that time, 
men and money that he wasted there could have been 
profitably employed elsewhere. While admitting the 
impolicy of the Deccan conquest, the apologists of 
'Alamgir assert that the idea of conquering the 
Sultanates of the South originated not with 'Alamgir 
but with Akbar the Great who first launched a campaign 
against them and left their conquest as a family legacy 
to his successors; that what was commenced by 
Akbar and continued by his successors was finally 
completed by 'Alamgir ; and that, therefore, if the con- 
quest of the Deccan was a blunder, 'Alamgir alone 
should not be held responsible for it ; the onus of 
responsibility, they aver, must be shared by his pre- 
decessors as well. The critics of 'Alamgir, not satisfied 
with this answer, retort that times had changed since 
Akbar and conditions had become different in the 
reign of 'Alamgir ; that Akbar had the support of the 
Sikhs and the Rajputs, and with their help he could 
easily conquer the Deccan, for the Marhattas 
had not yet made their appearance on the stage of 
Indian history ; that 'Alamgir had to figtt against 
the Hindus, the Rajputs, the Marhattas and the Sikhs 


unaided and alone ; and that, therefore, he ought to 
have made common cause with the Sultans of Bijapur 
and Golconda and defeated his enemies. But it must 
be remembered that the " forward policy " of the pre- 
vious Mughal Emperors against the Deccan had made 
the Sultans the avowed enemies of the Mughal Empire 
and it is doubted if 'Alamgir could enlist their 
sympathy or support. Moreover, when he could do 
without their help and achieve his object without their 
support, he thought, there was no need to resort to 
that step. Had he failed to conquer the Deccan and 
had the conquest of its Sultanates resulted in his 
defeats elsewhere, the Deccan Conquest may then 
justifiably be dubbed as impolitic ; but we know for 
certain that the Sikhs were subverted, the Rajputs 
were reduced to submission, the Marhattas were 
defeated and the Deccan was conquered. It rnay as 
well be pointed out that if 'Alamgir had allowed the 
Marhattas and the Sultanates to continue their fight, 
the latter would have, in all probability, succumbed to 
the arms of the former and added immeasurably to 
their resources. There was, however, one thing which 
he could do : He could help the Sultans against the 
Marhattas until they had completely crushed them. 
This he would not do. At any rate, the conquest of the 
Deccan did not in any way contribute to the fall of the 
Mughal Empire. If the Mughal Empire did not 
survive long after him, it was mostly because his sons 
and servants were treacherous and corrupt. Had 
India bar. but one more 'Alamgir, she would have 
had a different history. 


'Alamgir's expeditions dispatched against 

, . Maharashtra in 1682-83 A C. had 

Renewal of 

activities against ended, as 'we have seen, in smoke 
the Marhattas. and nothing substantial was achieved. 

After the conquest of Golconda, he diverted his 
attention towards the Marhattas. Sambhuji, who 
succeeded his father, Shivajl, lacked all the qualities of 
his talented father. While Aurangzeb was occupied in 
the Deccan campaign, Sambhuji should have mobilized 
his forces against the Mughals and thereby saved 
himself as well as the Sultanates. But he remained 
inactive during all this time and failed tct embrace the 
opportunity. As an indolent sensualist, he wasted away 
his time and treasure in drunkenness and debauchery. 
His favourite minister, Kavi Kulesh (famous as Kalusha), 
to whom he had entrusted all the affairs of his 
government, was extremely ' unpopular with the 
Marhattas. He was totally devoid of that organizing 
capacity which had characterised his father. As a 
natural consequence, his soldiers reverted to their usual 
habit of plunder. They lost their unity and became 
Scattered. Aurangzeb availed himself of this 
opportunity and soon conquered the dis-united country. 
In 1689 A. C. Sambhuji was taken prisoner by a 
Mughal general, Taqarrab Khan, in hte pleasure-house 
at Sangameshwara, whither he had retired with his 
women to bathe, drink and make merry. The loose 
assembly was overpowered and their leader was executed. 
This happened in March, 1689 A. C. Sambhuji's son, 
Sahu, was nicely treated by 'Alamgir and \tas given the 
title of honest. 


These repeated disasters weakened the Marhattas. 
Rajah Ram as The P^sence of Aurangzeb near 
recent and as Poona, surrounded by a halo of 

grandeur combined with his personal 
reputation, struck terror into their hearts. Their 
weakness became the more conspicuous when he sent 
an army to besiege Raigarh, their capital. It was there 
that, after the death of Sambhuji, the leading Marhatta 
nobles gathered together and acknowledged bis son, 
Shivaji II, a boy of about five, as Rajah and appointed 
Rajah Ram as his regent. The Mughals captured 
Raigarh and took possession of the forts of Mirlch and 
Panhala. They also made Shivaji prisoner. Rajah 
Ram escaped to JinjT and there he assumed the title of 
Rajah, because his nephew, the minor Rajah, was in 

Aurangzeb sent his general, Zulfiqar Khan, against 

Expedition R *J ah Rtlm but the Mughal general 

against Rajah failed to take Jinji. He, therefore, 

applied for reinforcements which 
the Emperor was not in a position to supply, for 
the grand army was split up into small portions and 
detailed to different parts of the Empire to take over 
the provinces and forts of the newly conquered 
kingdoms from the officers of those places. The 
Mughal general could make no headway and therefore 
prolonged the siege for full seven years. The 
Marhattas, in the meantime, recuperated and 
strengthened their position. They fully availed 
themselves cf the opportunity presented to them by the 
lack of harmony among the Mughal generals. Prince 


Kam Bakhsh was suspected of traitorous correspondence 
with the Marhattas and was, therefore, sent to the 
Emperor as a prisoner. Zulfiqar Khan was also recalled 
(1694 A. C.). During 1694-97 A. C. several other 
generals were tried, but no better luck was in store for 
them, for the victories they won were short-lived. The 
Emperor himself encamped at Brahamapuri on the 
Bhima and from there directed the operations against 
the Marhattas. The rivalry between the Marhatta 
generals enabled the Mughals to inflict defeats on the 
Marhattas in some engagements. When Rajah Ram, 
who had made Satara his seat of government after the 
fall of Jinji, heard of Aurangzeb's intention of attacking 
that place, he escaped to Khelana along with his family. 
The Mughals occupied a series of outposts and linked 
them in such a way as to form a blockade. The next 
item on the war programme was to lay siege to the 
stronghold of Satara, which stood at the summit of a 
hill. The besiegers suffered heavy losses when the 
garrison rolled down huge stones from the top. 
Notwithstanding the great disaster which befell the 
Mughal forces, the Marhattas could not hold their own 
for a long time. They ran short of their provisions and 
Prince 'Azam would not now connive at their underhand 
transactions. Rajah Ram, exhausted by a long 
expedition, retired to Singhgarh only to expire there on 
the 2nd of March, 1700 A. C. 

Rajah Ram was succeeded by his young son, 

_ _ Kama, who died of small-pox after a 
T5ra Bai as regent ' . r 
of her son few days. TarS Bfti, th^ dowager- 
s' 1 HI- queen> raised her son| skivaji HI, to 


the throne and herself became his regent. This 
remarkable lady rose to the height of the occasion and 
continued a vigorous defence against the Mughals wha 
had, by this time, sufficiently extended their sway in 
Maharashtra. Under her influence, the Marhattas 
received a new lease of life and enthusiasm. They now 
fought with greater vigour, with the result that the 
Mughal-Marhatta War dragged on till the grand Imperial 
army was completely disorganized and its resources 
were exhausted. 

Troubles, in the meantime, thickened on all sides 

and the valiant old man of eighty* 
End of 'Alamgir. f , . \ 

seven raced them heroically. Ine 

Sikhs had established their sway over the Punjab and 
had become a power to be reckoned with. The Jats of 
Burhanpur were in open rebellion against the Empire 
and never obeyed the Mughal Emperor. Amidst thebe 
disappointments the hero of the field, Aurangzeb, passed 
away in 1707 A. C. leaving the Peacock Throne as a 
bone of contention among the Mughals, the Marhattas 
the Sikhs and the Rajputs. 

As long as Emperor 'Alamgir was alive, all went 

., . . _ well ; but his death spoiled his 

Mugnal Empire r 

after the death of schemes and defeated his purpose. 
Emperor 'Alamgir. The Marhattas now rose everywhere, 
plundered the Mughal convoys and recovered almost all 
what they had lost. The Hindus had already alienated 
themselves and the Sikhs were endeavouring to carve 
out an independent kingdom for themselves. The 
English had established their factories in many places 
and had started siding with the native powers in their 


wars. Such was the state of affairs when 'Alamglr 
expired. It will now be easy, perhaps, to appeciate the 
gravity of the situation which the later Mughals 
found themselves face to face. 

The appearance of the Sikhs on the stage of Indian 

history may be said to have dated 

from the close of the fifteenth cen * 

tury when Baba Nanak, the founder 
of Sikhism.was busy in preaching the unity of God, the 
purity of thought and the nobility of action. As a 
religious reformer, he condemned caste and colour, and 
inculcated the equality of all men in the eyes of the 
Almighty. His followers came to be known as Sikhs. 
The word Sikh means a disciple and he was the 
disciple of the Guru who was the head of the new 
Church. In all, there were ten Gurus, including Nanak, 
whose short account has already been given. A summary 
sketch of the remaining nine follows. 

Little is recorded of the ministry of the next Guru, 
who succeeded the first Guru as 

iS^-fssz^^C 1 An S ad Dev ^cept that he committed 
to writing much of what the Great 
Guru had performed and preached and some devotional 
observances of his own, which were subsequently in- 
corporated in the Granth Sahib> the Bible of the Sikhs* 
He was true to the principles of his great teacher and, 
finding that none of his sons was worthy of apostolic 
succession, he nominated Amar Das, an assiduous 
disciple of his, as his successor* The crowning achieve- 
ment of Guru Angad was the invention of t\e Gurmukhl 


Amar Das, the third Guru, was a zealous preacher. 
He was successful in winning several 

1552^574 r :! conv erts, many of whom were drawn 
from the Jats. He divided his spiri- 
tual jurisdiction into a number of dioceses, over each of 
which he placed a pious Sikh. This extended the authority 
of the Guru and increased the popularity of the new 
religion over the country. In a pious and humane spirit, 
he denounced the black rite of Satl and pronounced that 
the true Sati was she whom grief and not flame 
consumed, and advised that the afflicted should seek 
consolation with God. He died in 1574 A. C. and was 
succeeded by his son-in-law, Ram Das. 

The name of Guru Ram Das is intimately associated 
with the foundation of Amritsar, the 
?57?l-5^A a c! centre of Sikhism. From Emperor 
Akbar he received a piece of land and 
in it he dug a reservoir, since known as Amritsar, or the 
1 Pool of immortality '. He is reckoned among the most 
revered of the Sikh Gurus, though ' no precepts of wide 
application, or rules of great practical value are attri- 
buted to him '. Moreover, ' the progress of Sikhism was 
slow in his ministration of seven years/ He passed 
away in 1581 A. C., leaving his son to succeed him to 
his Gaddl as Arjan Dev. 

Guru Arjan was a great organizer. He made 
Amritsar the proper seat of his dis- 

ci P les to carr y on their religious 
propaganda as best as they could. 
The result was that the obscure village, with its small 
pool, gradually grew up to be a populous city and the 


greatest place of pilgrimage of the Sikhs. He edjted 
the Granth Sahib and converted the customary offer- 
ings of his adherents into a regular tax. He encouraged 
trade among the Sikhs and tried to ameliorate their 
'economic condition. Unfortunately, he incurred the 
wrath of Jahangir by offering help to Prince Khusrau 
who was then in rebellion against his father He was 
fined and thrown in prison where he died owing to the 
severity of confinement in 1606.* 

Guru Arjan's successor was his son, Har Govind, 
under whom the Sikhs formed them- 

?606 D ^6 a 45 G A n c : selves in ' to a wiHtary organization. 
The new Guru united in his person 
the qualities of a soldier, a saint andf a sportsman. 
He went out for hunting and ate meat. During his 
ministry the Sikhs made marvellous progress and 
multiplied in large numbers. The author of the 
Dabistan informs us that he was employed by Jahangir, 
-but; was imprisoned at Gwalior for a period of twelve 
years when he appropriated to himself the pay of his 
soldiers and refused to pay the fine imposed on his 
father.f Subsequently, he took service under Shah 
Jahan, but soon separated himself by raising a petty 

*Vide Dabistan-ul-Mazahib, p. 234. According to Malcolm, 
the Guru was imprisoned by the Governor of Lahore at the 
instigation of his enemy, Danlchand, whose writings he had 
refused to incorporate in the Adi Granth. (See Malcolm's History 
of the Sikhs). A Muslim writer, on the other hand, informs us 
that the cause of the Guru's imprisonment was his refusal to 
marry his son to the daughter of Danlchand (T'J^lkh-i-Punjab 
.p. 87). 

t Ibid. 


revolt. When defeated and driven to despair, he took 

refuge in the hills. He died at Kartarpur in 1645 A. C.* 

The next Guru was Har Rai, the grandson of the 

late Guru Har Govind. He remained 

?65-mi R A. C. i n P eace at Kartarpur till the war of 
succession broke out among the sons 
of Shah Jahan and the Guru became a partisan of Dara. 
When Dara was defeated, the Guru surrendered his 
elder son to the Emperor as a hostage. The youth 
was treated with due deference and his father was 
excused. Har Rai died at Kartarpur in 1661 A. C., 
leaving the pontifical office to be filled by his second 
son, Har Kishan. 

Guru Har Kishan remained in office for about 
three years. His ministry was abso- 

lutel y uneventf ul except that he had 
to contend against the rivalry of bis 

brother, Ram Rai. The latter was born of ' a 
hand-maiden' and 'not of a wife of equal degree'; 
the former, therefore, had a stronger claim to the Gaddl. 
When the struggle for succession reached a high 
pitch, the case was referred to 'Alamgir, who allowed the 
Sikhs to elect their own Guru. Har Kishan was, 
accordingly, elected, f but he was not destined to live 

* The learned author of the Tarlkh-i-Punjab informs us that 
Damchand, the persecutor of Guru Arjan Dev, was handed 
over by Shah Jahan to Har Govind who ' put the tormentor of 
his father to death.' (Tarikh-i-Punjab). 

t According to the District Gazetteers of Dehradun, the elec- 
tion of Har Kishan was disputed by Har Rai and the matter 
was referred to 'Alamgir who confirmed the election. (Aurangzeb 
and His Times, pp. 248-49.) 


long. Attacked by small-pox, he passed away at Delhi 
in 1664 A. C. 

Before his death, Har Kishan had nominated Har 
Guru Teeh Govind's son, Tegh Bahadur as his 

BahadurT successor. Tegh Bahadur had at 

1664-1675 A. C. formidable foe in Ram Rai, who 
continued to assert his claims till at last the former was 
acknowledged as the spiritual leader of the Sikhs. Not 
long after, however, both his life and leadership were 
endangered by the machinations of Ram Rai as well as 
by * his suspicious proceedings'. Summoned to the 
Imperial Court, he was executed ' as a rebel ' in 1675 
A. C.* 

Guru Tegh Bahadur was succeeded by his son, 

^_ . . Govind Singh, at the age of fifteen. 
GuruGovmd .,,.,, i j j 

Singh : The execution of his father had made 

1675 -1708 A.C. & d(?ep impression on the m i n d of 

the young Guru and he now made a vow to avenge 
the death of his father. For full twenty years 
(167595 A.C.) he made preparations for the struggle 
against the supremacy of Islam in India. He waged 
wars against the Rajahs of Jammu, Garhwal and 
other places in order to carve out for himself an 
independent principality, or at least to sieze a few 
fortresses in the hills, which might serve as a base of 

*See Siyar-ul-Muta l akhkhirin (Brigg's ed.) pp. 74-5; Later 
Mughals, Vol. I, p. 79 ; and Aurangzeb and His Times, pp. 253 ff. 
It has been alleged that the Guru (Tegh Bahadur) was executed 
for refusing to accept Islam. This is incorrect. The fact is that 
when sentenced to death 'for his crimes againsti the State,' he 
was asked to save his life by accepting Islam. He* declined the 
offer and was executed for the offence charged with. : 


jniHtary operations against the Mughal Emperor and to 
which he might retire in the event of danger. Having 
matured his plans, he emerged out of the hills with a 
vow to fulfil his mission and an oath to avenge the 
death of his father. 

Guru Govind was a great religious and social 

reformer. He enjoined the worship 

His Reforms. _ ^, , , _ _ f f , 

of Shaktt, the goddess of force, and 

made it compulsory for the Sikhs to wear steel on their 
person in one form or the other. He denominated his 
disciples the Khalsa (elect of God) and taught them 
that they were born to conquer. He gave them 
outward signs of their religion in the five Kakkas, or K's 
Kara (iron bangle), Kachha (short drawers), Kanga 
(comb), Kes (uncut hair) and Kirpan (dagger). He also 
introduced a new form of salutation, 'wah guru fi ka 
Khalsa srl wah guru jl kl fateh.' He prohibited the 
use of tobacco, liquor and other intoxicants. He 
emphasised the equality of all men before God a^nd 
preached monotheism. He made a clean sweep of caste 
distinctions and declared that the lowest in Sikh society 
were equal with the highest. In all this the influence 
of Islam is obvious. According to him, salvation 
could be attained only by the Khalsa. He emphasised 
the importance of military training and diverted the 
attention of the Sikhs, each of whom he called Singh, 
from the plough to the sword, ' The Turks must be 
destroyed ' he said, 'and the graves of those called saints 
must be neglected.' Suchwise, the ways of the Hindus 
must be deserted and the Brahmans' thread must be 
broken. He ruled out superstition and social ceremonies. 


From what has been said, it will be evident that fhe 
religious aspect of the movement was 
of the e |f gradually transformed into a military 

and political organization with 
definite aims and ideals. The Gurus of the later times 
were not the prototypes of the first four Gurus, who 
were exclusively devoted to their religion. In fact, 
there cannot be greater contrast than that between 
the unostentatious, inoffensive and peace-making Nanak 
and his subsequent successors who entirely changed 
their mode of life and began to live like princes royal 
amidst regal pomp and splendour,- organizing armies, 
building forts and fighting for the achievement of 
political supremacy. Guru Govind Singh's military 
career extended over fifteen years, during which period 
he successfully fought against the hill chieftains and 
provincial governors. His conqfuests roused the Mughal 
Government to another danger which might become 
a menace if allowed to persist. When the distressed 
Rajahs applied to 'Alamgir for aid against their 
oppression, he dispatched an army against the Guru in 
order to bring him to book. The Guru was defeated 
and two of his sons were slain. From this it is amply 
clear that 'Alamglr launched his campaign against the 
Sikh Gurus in response to the repeated requests of the 
HindQ Rajahs who had suffered great injuries at the 
hands of the Sikhs, and yet by a curious irony of fate 
the Mughal Emperor is blamed for unjustly provoking 
the Sikhs. The Imperialists then laid siege to the fort 
of the Guru at Anandapur and reduced hipi to such 
straits that he was compelled to make his Way to the 


deserts of the district of Firozpur. Hotly pursued by 
the Imperialists, he betook himself to a place which 
subsequently became famous as Damdatna, where he 
compiled the Granth of the tenth Guru. After a stormy 
career, he settled at Anandapur, where, in response 
to his request, he received an invitation from the 
Mughal Emperor. He proceeded to the Mughal Court 
in compliance, but before he reached it, 'Alamgir had 
passed away (1707 A.C.). The Guru espoused the cause 
of Bahadur Shah and accompanied him to the Deccan 
where at Nander he was killed by a Pathan whose 
father he had slain. 

Ever since the arrival of Sir Thomas Rao at the 

, ,. Court of Jahanglr and the grant of 
'Alamgir and the _ 

English : Early the Imperial firman to the English, 

English allowing them some trade facilities in 

settlements m the Mug h a i Empire, the English had 

India . 

endeavoured to maintain friendly 

relations with the Mughal Government for the 
furtherance of their trade interests. As has already 
been mentioned, the English had succeeded in 
1616 A. C, in receiving permission from the Mughal 
Emperor for building a factory at MasulTpatam. In 
1639 A.C. they had obtained a piece of land from the 
Rajah of Chanderi on lease and built at Madras a 
factory with a fort to defend themselves against the 
Dutch who had been hostile to them. The fort was 
afterwards named as Fort St. George. Shah Jahan, 
who was more favourably disposed towards the English 
than his predecessors, apart from allowing them fresh 
trade concessions, permitted them to build factories at 


Hugli and Kasimbazar in 1650-51 A. C. Eight years 
afterwards, all their factories were put under Surat. In 
1666 A.C. 'Alamgir rewarded them for their heroic 
resistance in the sack of Surat by Shivaji by reducing 
the import duty on their goods. Their position on the 
western coast improved in 1668 A. C. when for an 
annual quit rent of 10 Charles II made over the 
islands of Bombay and Salsette, which he had received 
as part of the dowry of his wife, Catherine of Braganza, 
to the East India Company. Now as they had a 
harbour of their own, they little feared the Marhattas 
and the Dutch, The hostilities between the Dutch and 
the Marhattas further stimulated their ambition and 
they fortified their possessions on the western coast in 
self defence. Not long afterwards, Charles II granted a 
new charter, which conferred some privileges on the 
East India Company, making it an important power in 
the land. 

Shaista Khan, the Governor of Bengal, imposed some 

duties on English trade in 1685 A.C. 
Anglo-Mughal The factors fefused to pay them to 

the local authorities and defied the 
Mughal power. TMs led to a sort of semi-official war 
between the English and the Mugjials. The English 
were assisted by King James II of England with ten or 
twelve ships for the capture of Chittagong. When they 
attacked the Mughal ships under Sir John Child, 
'Alamgir ordered their arrest and the annihilation of 
their factories at Surat, Masullpatam and Hugli. The 
factories were seized and trade with the " audacious 
foreigners" was forbidden. But the Emperor was not 


keen to prolong the war ; he forgave the English and 
instructed Ibrahim, the new governor of Bengal, to 
treat them with leniency. Ibrahim arranged terms 
with them and invited Job Charnock to return to his 
former settlement at Hugli early in the month of 
October, 1690 A. C. and allowed him to plant a small 
station below the Hugll, which took its name 'Calcutta' 
from an adjoining village, called Kalikata. This small 
station soon developed into an important city and 
became the seat of British Government in India. Sir 
John Child, the President of Surat, who had declared 
war against the Mu^hals with a view to establish a 
strong and well-founded English dominion in India, 
was at last compelled to sue for peace. The Emperor 
extended his pardon to the English without grudge and al- 
lowed them to trade as before on payment of Rs. 1,50,000. 
Henceforth, the English East India Company returned 
to its former methods of peaceful trade till the middle 
of the 18th century when the political chaos, which 
followed the fall of the Mughal Empire, and the 
activities of the French in India eventually forced upon 
them a new policy, and they began to fish in th$ 
troubled waters. From this time onwards their progress 
was less showy but more sure and steady. 

By the year 1690-91 A. C. 'Alamglr was at the 
height of his power. Nearly the 

hlS whole of India was under his swa y- 

He had succeeded in achieving what 

he had been^ struggling for. The SbJa Sultanates of 
the Deccan were conquered and annexed to the Mughal 
Empire. Most of the Marhatta forts were captured 

Alamgir's Empire in 1700 A.C 

Aurangated* 5 


I The thick line ( -) rodicttet the 
extent of Afangir't Empire 

2. Tbe undertint* art lowfi 


and Sahu, the principal claimant to the Marhatta 
throne, was a captive in the Imperial Camp. A glance 
at the map will show tha't 'Alamgir was the Lord 
Paramount of the whole of India, extending from 
Kashmir in the north to Cape Comorin in the south 
and from Kabul in the west to Chittagong in the east. 

The main framework of the machinery of govern- 
ment under 'Alamgir was the same 
Administration , ,. , T1tT 

under 'Alamgir. as under his predecessors. We may, 

however, note the following changes 
in and improvements on the existing system made by 
4 Alamgir to suit his convenience : * 

The extent of the Mughal Empire had increased 
and the territorial boundaries of the 
^nh T eS^bahs en W provinces were re-arranged. The 
number of Svbahs was raised from 
fifteen to eighteen in the North and from three to six in 
the South. The provinces of Bengal, Multan and 
Kabul were too big to be efficiently administered by a 
single governor each. \ new arrangement was, there- 
fore, essential. Orissa and a part of Gondwana were 
taken from the jurisdiction of the viceroy of Bengal and 
placed under a separate governor. Likewise, the whole 
of Southern Sind was detached from tjie province of 
Multan and formed into a distinct province of Thatta, 
with a governor of its own. So also were Kashmir and 
a part of Hazara extracted from the province of Kabul 
and made into a separate province and placed under a 
separate governor. The reconstitution of the different 
provinces of the Mughal Empire was quite satisfactory 
from the Imperial point of view. 


Although 'Alamgir tried to draw a line of 
demarcation between religion and 
politics,* yet in practice he carried on 
the administration of his kingdom 
strictly in accordance with the rules laid down 
in the Qur'an. The theocratic character of the 
Government implied that the Muslim lunar calendar 
should be restored. This was done and the llahl era 
of Akbar was discontinued. Likewise, taxation was 
brought down to the limits prescribed by the Muslim 
Law. The Emperor abolished all those taxes for which 
sanction could not be obtained from the Qur'an. As 
many as eighty taxes were done away with. Taxes on 
Hindu pilgrims were removed, but the Jizla was 
revived, though it was not strictly collected. 

The Islamic State is also concerned with the 
manners and morals of the Muslim 
community. The Emperor, there- 
fore, appointed censors whose duty it 
was to look after the conduct of the people and 
to enforce the laws of Islam. Drinking was strictly 
forbidden and the use of other intoxicants was 
prohibited. Prostitution was discouraged and pro- 
stitutes were ordered to leave the cities and to remove 
their brothels. They were, however, allowed to take 
up their residence outside and were ordered to wear red 
clothes so that they might be distinguished from the 
rest of the women-folk, and hence the name ' lal bibl '. 

* ' What connections have earthly affairs with religion ' ? 
What right have administrative works to meddle with bigotry ' ? 
'For you your religion and for me is mine. Religion has n(fr 
concern with secular business/ etc. (See Anecdotes, p. 99.) 


The practice of Darsfaan, introduced by Akbar and 
followed by his successors, was regarded as agzrinst 
Is^am and was, therefore, pwt an end to. 

The King was the custodian of public money. He 

effected economies everywhere. The 
Bait-ui-MaL L , ~ , , 

expenses or the Court were reduced to 

a considerable extent. He maintained a well-organized 
department, called the Bait-ul-Mal, or God's Treasury, 
where the property of the heirless deceased was kept in 
safe custody. Moreover, the property escheated from the 
noblemen was also deposited there. 'Alamgir always 
endeavoured to increase the property of the Bait-ul-Mal 
and the money accumulated there was spent for the 
promotion of Islamic culture and civilization. 

The policy of centralization, introduced by Akbar 
Pohcy of over- and continued by his successors, 
centralization. culminated . with Aurangzeb. The 

result was that the provincial governors could not find 
scope for the development of their natural abilities, so 
much so that when the Emperor died the machinery of 
Mughal administration collapsed all of a sudden and 
there was no one who could administer such a centralized 

Justice was rigorously administered and the Em- 
peror himself sat at the Dlwan-i-Khas 
Justice. , J ... 

J from 8 A.M. till noon on every 

Wednesday and dispensed even-handed justice to 
all and sundry. In his work he was assisted 
by a set of law officers of great renown. Under 
his patronage a syndicate of theologians compiled th.e 
famous Fatawa-i-'Alamgiri at the cost o* two lakhti 


under the supervision of one Shaikh Nizam. Referring to 
'Alamgir's justice, Ovington says : ' He is the main Ocean 
of justice and equity, and from him all small rivulets of 
wealth flow, and to him they all pay tribute, and 
return again. He generally determines with exact 
justice and equity , for there is no pleading of peeridge 
or privilege before the Emperor, but the meanest man is 
soon heard by Aurangzebe as the chief Omrah. 
Which makes the Omrahs very circumspect of their 
actions, and punctual in their payments ; because all 
complaints against them are readily adjusted, and they 
never want jealous rivals at Court who are willing to 
bring them into disgrace with their King for any fault.'* 
'Alamgir was an eminent educationist. For the 
widespread diffusion of education he 
TduSion f established universities in almost all 

the important cities of his far-flung 
Empire and erected schools in smaller towns. During 
his reign, we learn, Delhi, Jaunpur, Sialkot and Thatta 
(in Sind) were important centres of education. ' The 
city of Thatta/ says Hamilton, 'is famous for learning 
theology, philology, and politicks, and they have above 
400 colleges for training up youth in those parts of 
learning.'t His interest in education, it may be pointed 
out at this place, took after his general policy which 
aimed at bringing the law into line with the tenets of 
Islam. During his reign Muslim education made 
mighty strides and Islamic literature flourished abun- 
dantly under his patronage. He enunciated a new 
theory of what the education of the Royal Princes should 

* A Voyage to Surat in 1689, p. 120. 

| A New Account of the East Indies, Vol. i, p. 78, 


be. This theory of imperial education emphasised^ in 
brief, the importance of general knowledge, such as a 
familiarity with the languages of the surrounding 
nations ; an acquaintance with the distinguishing fea- 
tures of every nation of the earth : its resources and 
strength ; its mode of warfare ; its manners, religion, 
form of government, and wherein its interests principally 
consist ; with the origin of states ; their progress and 
decline, the events, accidents, or errors, owing to which 
such great changes and mighty revolutions have been 
effected ; with the reciprocal duties between the sove- 
reign and his subjects, the art fcf war, of besieging a 
town or drawing up an army.* 

'Alamgir's political pre-occupations left him but 

A .. little leisure to indulge in his artistic 

Architecture. ^ T , 

fancy. Nevertheless, he made some 

important additions to the existing architecture. Among 
the most remarkable buildings erected by him may be 
mentioned the Marble Mosque in the Fort of Delhi 
and the Badshahi Masjid at Lahore. The latter is the 
latest specimen of the Mughal style of architecture. 

Quite unlike his ancestors, 'Alamglr did not 

actively patronize music and painting, 
PaiSing d Himself ' well-versed in the science of 

music,' he was deadly against its 
practical performance. Likewise, in painting, though he 
delighted in the pictorial records of his own grand- 
doings, he sought to discriminate between the artists of 
his own creed and those of others and therefore did 

* For a detailed discussion on the subject, vide Education iti 
Muslim India, pp. 175 ff. 


nothing to popularize it. A number of pictures, 
illustrating his battles and sieges, have come down to 
us, which show that he did not discourage this art 
wholesale. All the same, the fine arts did not die at once 
the death the Emperor is said to have desired to such 
frivolities as music and dancing. The musician and 
the painter still flourished and continued to ply their 
respective vocations notwithstanding the lukewarm, if 
not positively hostile, attitude of the Emperor towards 

The glorious reign of this simple and unosten- 

_ tatious king was not without its 


beautiful gardens. Among the most 

attractive of their class may be mentioned the Badshahi 
Masjid and Garden at Lahore, the Garden of Raushan 
Ara Begam at Delhi, the ChauburjT Bagh, the Nawan 
Kal Bagh at Lahore and the Pinjor Garden. 

It is impossible to under-rate the character and 
achievements of Aurangzeb 'Alam- 
g lr the last of our Great Mughals, 
described as ' the puritan in the 
fjurple '. Magnificent in his public appearance, simple 
and unassuming in his private life, exact in the 
peformance of his religious observances, prompt in the 
dispatch of his daily business, an eminent educationist, 
a remarkable religious enthusiast, a patron of the poor 
and the learned, a great literary genius, an elegant letter- 
writer, ' a fountain of justice as of honour/ and a 
master of pen as of sword' 'Alamgir was indeed a 
triumph of character. He left no faculty of his active 


mind to rust and allowed no spring of his frame to relax 
even in the evening of his life. His ideal of kingahip 
was very high : ' I was sent into the world by Provi- 
dence,' he said, * to live and labour, not for myself, but 
for others ; that it is my duty not to think of my 
own happiness, except so far as it is inseparably 
connected with the happiness of my people. It is the 
repose and prosperity of my subjects that it behoves 
me to consult ; nor are those to be sacrificed to anything 
besides the demands of justice, the maintenance of the 
royal authority, and the security of the State.' It is 
indeed to his credit that he lived up to this lofty ideal. 
With him governing was a duty, seriously undertaken 
and honestly performed. He felt disgusted at the idea 
of making religion (Islam) a plaything of mental 
gymnastics and a sport of royal whims and moods. He 
deplored the debasement of the noble ideals and 
traditions of Islam and was exasperated at the aberra- 
tions of those who lacked courage and concealed their 
religious identities for political reasons. He could not 
tolerate religion being overriden by politics and therefore 
raised his voice against the ' danger ' that lay ahead. 
He tried to restore Islam to its pristine purity and 
perfection. Thus did he play the role of a reformer and 
it was in this capacity that he commanded the confidence 
of his co-religionists during his lifetime and again it 
is in this capacity that he enjoys the reverence of his 
co-religionists even now. He ruled India as a Muslim 
King and was therefore hated by the Hindus then as 
much as now. But the fact cannot escape recognition 
that ' Alamgir was a little too rigid in his methods and 


betrayed a narrowness of vision in displaying his 

reforming zeal. As a man of imperial instinct and a 

man of iron-will, he disdained to yield to popular 

agitation and never changed his attitude even when 

exegencies of the hour demanded lenity and liberal 

treatment, though he did yield to the demands of the 

Ulama. Justified from the standpoint of the Emperor, 

some of his acts were undoubtedly calculated to create 

difficulties for him. Tba allegation that he was 

distrusful and suspicious by nature is not justified. 

The treachery of his sons and officers, who secretly 

joined his enemies against him, put him on his alert and 

constrained him to take necessary safeguards against 

them. If, therefore, their acts were vigilantly watched 

by the Emperor, it was because they had proved 

treacherous time and again. To sum up, 'Alamgir was 

indeed a great king, doubly so from the standpoint of 

his co-religionists. No other emperor has been subjected 

to such severe scrutiny as he, and yet he has exacted 

the admiration of friends and foes alike. 

Bernier, who was present in India during the first 

quarter of 'Alamglr's reign, was by no 
Bermer's view. ^ j * A 

means favourably disposed towards 

the Great Mughal. Even he had no hesitation to 
admit that ' this Prince (viz., * Alamgir) is endowed with 
a versatile and rare genius, that he is a consummate 
Statesman, and a great King'.* 

Hamilton, who visited India towards the close of 

the seventeenth century, pays the 
Hamilton s view. . ; r 

following well-deserved tribute to the 

* Bernier' s Travels in the Mogul Empire, p. 199. 


much-maligned monarch : * He (Aurangzeb) was a 
Prince in every way qualified for governing. None ever 
understood politics better than he. The balance of 
distributive justice he held in exact equilibrium. He 
was brave and cunning in war, and merciful 
and magnanimous in peace, temperate in his diet 
and recreations, and modest and grave in his apparel, 
courteous in his behaviour to his subjects and affable 
in his discourse. He encouraged the laws of humanity 
and observed them as well as those of religion/* 

Writing about the reign of*Emperor 'Alamgir in 

., ., . 1701 A,C., Niccolaa Manucci, the 

Manucci s view . ^ 

Italian traveller who was in India- 
during the second half of the seventeenth century, 

says: " The great age of the Emperor and the 

ambition to gain the throne continuously displayed by 
his sons and grandsons, give rise to the apprehension 
of some catastrophe quite as tragic as that supervening 
at the close of Shahjahan's reign. In spite of this, 

the ablest politicians assert that all will be 

peaceful so long as the aged monarch is still in this 
world. In saying this, they rely on the admirable 
conduct and the good government of this Prince- 
(Aurangzeb), who in spite of his great age and the infir- 
mities inseparable from it, knows how to get himself 
always obeyed with his former vigour, and to hold 
every man to his allegiance".! 

*A New Account o/ the East Indies, by Alexander Hamilton, 
Vol. II, p. 103. ! 

t Storia Do Mogor by Niccolao Manucci, Vol. hi, pp. 249=50, 


" The abilities of Shah Jahan's son and successor, 

1 AlamgTr," says Keen, " rendered him 
Keen s view, J . 

the most famous member of his 

famous house. Intrepid and enterprising as he was in 
war, his political sagacity and statecraft were equally 
unparalleled in Eastern annals. He abolished capital 
punishment, understood and encouraged agriculture, 
founded numberless schools and colleges, systematically 

constructed roads and bridges In his reign the 

house of Tirnur attained its zenith. The wild Pathans 
of Kabul were temporarily tamed, the Shah of Persia 
sought his friendship, the ancient Muslim powers of 
Bijapur and Golconda were subverted and their terri- 
tories rendered subordinate to the sway of the empire ; 
the hitherto indomitable Rajputs were subdued and 
made subject to taxation ; and if the strength of 
the Marhattas lay gathered upon the Western Ghats, 
it was not possible to anticipate that a band of such 
marauders would long resist the might of the great 

Orme, the famous historian, only sums up the 

^ , achievements of 4 Alamgir when ho 

Orme s view. __ f ... r . ,, , 

says : 'The condition of the Moghul 

Empire, began to lose its vigour immediately after the 
death of Aurangzeb, the ablest monarch that ever 
reigned over Indostan. 9 ^ 

* The Fall of the Mughal Empire, by H. G. Keen. 
t A History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation 
in Jndostanfro.n the year 1715, by Orme. 



Mughal Culture and Civilization 
" No presentation of history can be adequate which 

neglects the growths of the religious 
Introductory. & . & ... * , 

conspicuousness, of literature, of the 

moral and physical science, of art, ot scholarship, of 
social life." An inquiry into these aspects of life during 
the Mughal Period of Indian History forms the subject- 
matter of the present chapter. Though these aspects 
have been treated at some length in tfie preceding 
account at their proper places, it is proposed to sum up 
the subject in the RETROSPECT. For the sake of 
convenience, it is best to classify them as Political, 
Social, Religious and Economic. 

Political Features 

The hardest nut to crack in any sovereignty is 
that of succession. This must have 

sJccSn 01 been ver y much so in Isl * m if it had 

not cut the gordian knot by giving 
unlimited latitude to the law of succession which it 
based on the earliest traditions of its rule. A reference 
to a typical one of such traditions appears apropos of the 
subject. The Prophet of Islam governed his people as 
a divine commissioner. After his death, the Caliphate 
(succession) became a cause of contention between the 
several claimants and the solution of the tangle involved 
three principles : first, the ruler's heir his son, or a 
relative in the absence of a son ; secondly, the person 
appointed by him or his nominee ; and thirdly, the 


person on whom the majority of the Musalmans were 
agreed. Thus, it is apparent that there was no well- 
defined law regulating the succession to the throne. 
Sometimes the law of primogeniture applied, in which 
case the claims of the first-born were recognised ; often 
the nominee succeeded ; and not infrequently the 
succession was effected by a plebiscite conducted by the 
chief officers of the State, and the sovereign-elect was 
not necessarily a direct descendant of the late king. 
Owing to the absence of a fixed law of succession ta 
the throne, rival interests often came into conflict and 
resulted in bloodshed. But underlying this absence was 
an advantage : in the civil war that followed the death 
of a king, only the fittest survived and ruled with great 
efficiency. In Mughal India, neither the law of primo- 
geniture, nor the principle of plebiscite, nor even of 
nomination was adhered to. Except in the case of 
Akbar, who enthroned himself unopposed at the death 
of his father, the sword decided the struggle for succes- 
sion and the successful prince cut short the life of his 
rival collaterals lest they should, at some future date, 
re-assert their claims to the throne and create distu*-- 
bance in the kingdom, 

Our Mediaeval Mughal Monarchy was a secular 

institution. The Sharlyat, was 
Mughal Monarchy se , dom a ,j owed tQ interfere with the 
and its nature. 

State. The Mughal Emperor derived 

his power not from the Muslim Law but from 
Persian traditions. He was virtually the State and his 
will was absolute. From the very nature of the case, the 
Mughal Government was an absolute monarchy, which 


knew nothing of constitutional rights and elective 
assemblies, but it had so much of democratic 
element in it that it was based not on force but on the 
-acquiescence of the people and its general administrative 
policy was at once in accord with the spirit of the age 
and the sentiments of its subjects. The Mughal 
Emperor took care to carry out the wishes of his people 
and tried his best to secure ' the greatest happiness of 
the greatest number '. Perfect religious freedomand 
unconditional liberty of conscience are the sine qua non 
of the stability and success of every State. The Mughal 
Emperors understood this and Jherefor^ shaped their 
policy accordingly. They adopted a Sulh-i-Kul policy 
and carried it to its logical conclusion. Reconciliation 
and universal toleration were their watch-words. The 
testimony of contemporary chroniclers and European 
travellers eloquently testifies to this fact. 

The Mughal Government undertook to guard the 
country against external invasions, to 

Functions of regulate foreign policy, to maintain 

the Mughal or./ 

Government. law and order, to suppress crime and 

encourage public morality, to provide 
for the protection of life and property, to disseminate 
justice and to enforce private contracts. Apart from 
these constituent functions, the Mughal Government 
performed some ministrant duties, such as the fixing of 
coinage, regulation of trade and industry, maintenance 
of roads and highways, establishment of hospitals, rest- 
houses and other works of public welfare, administration 
of famine relief, promotion of education and encourage* 
ment of arts and literature. 


The methods of administration of the early 
Sultans of Delhi were rough and rude 

Methods of indeed; .but the later sovereigns of 

administration. * t 

Islam, especially the Mughal Emperors, 
were great statesmen and they have left many fruitful 
ideas and useful institutions behind them. The Mughal 
Empire manifested a higher degree of polical organiza- 
tion than had previously existed in India. Babar, 
Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and 'Alamgir 
were all sovereigns of uncommon political acumen and 
marked administrative talents. The last three retained 
intact the vast and wonderful Empire which the cons- 
tructive genius of Akbar had brought into being, 
Where they received their talent for administration is 
not hard to say it was intuitive, inborn, self-taught 
not acquired. 

For purposes of efficient administration the Empire 

was divided into a number of pro* 

Administrative v inces, at each of which was stationed 

a Subedar, or viceroy who was 

assisted by a revenue officer, called Diwan. Each 
province was sub-divided into districts, or Sarkars, each 
of which was placed in charge of a local governor, or 
Faujdar. Each Sarkar was further sub-divided into 
Parganas and each Pargana into villages. The 
officer in charge of a Pargana was called Qanungo and 
that of a village Muqaddam. 

In the modern sense of the word, there was no 
Administration hierarchy of courts of justice. The 
of justice, * King was the fountain of justice and 

his was the highest court of appeal. The justice 


dealt out was rough and ready and the procedure 
of the courts was simple and summary. Its morits 
were that it was quick and cheap. Its danger was 
that it was apt to miscarry. The Qazis settled the 
cases between the Musalmans according to their 
religious code, whereas civil disputes among the Hindus 
were decided by Hindu judges and those between 
Hindus and Musalmans by Muslim Judges assisted by a 
set of Brahman scholars competent to expound Hindu 
customs and Shastras. The Emperors and the Provin- 
cial Governors also heard appeals and often revised 
and even modified the decisions of the lower courts. 
Punishments were, of course, severe, l?ut they had 
deterring effects.* f 

In theory, taxes were levied in accordance with the 

limits prescribed by the Muslim Law; 

Taxation. ... 

but in practice, they were imposed, 

relaxed and remitted arbitrarily by the Emperors as well 
as by the Provincial Governors. Taxes on Crown-lands, 
the land revenue, customs duties, tributes from depen- 
dencies, escheats and presents were the principal sources 
of income. The Jizia, or poll-tax, abolished by Akbar, 
was re-imposed by 'Alamglr, though it was not strictly 

* On the authority of European travellers who visited India 
during the Mughal Period, some modern writers have frequently 
referred to the vanity of the Qazls and the corruption of other 
Government officials. 1 do not for a moment deny the charge 
altogether, but I cannot help pointing out that the picture 
painted by them is rather exaggerated. Corruption there was, 
but it was not condoned or connived at by the Government. On 
the other hand, it was strongly suppressed and severely dealt 


For the maintenance of law and order and the 
even-handed distribution of justice, a 
Organization. highly organized police is absolutely 

essential. The Mughal Emperors 
maintained one in a high state of efficiency. The 
principal police officer was Kotwal, the custodian of 
public peace and security, whose duties have been 
detailed at some length in a previous chapter. He was 
assisted by a set of subordinate officers in the discharge 
of his multifarious duties. It is a tribute to the Mughal 
'Government that owing to an efficient police 
organization ' order and security prevailed in the cities, 
business was safe, and foreign merchants were well 

Espionage has indeed a bad odour about it and 

yet it has been found indispensable 

Secret service. , , , , j j 

even by the most advanced and 

.civilized governments. In a despotic government the 
need for sound spying system can be well imagined. 
In Mughal India, there were the Waqai Navis, 

-or Recorders of Events, and the Khufia Navis, 

with. No government, however advanced, can claim to be free 
from corrupt officials, and the Mughal Government was no 
exception to the rule. Notwithstanding the efficient systems of 
administration evolved by different nations and the deterrants 
.devised by them, there is corruption, and corruption in plenty, 
in every country and in almost every department, at least 
among the ministerial staff. In Mughal India, we gather from 
the original sources of information, every effort was made to 
remove it and, in consequence, there was in those days a good 
^balance of justice and fair-dealing, certainly better than any 
. other country could claim. 


or Writers of Secret Intelligence, stationed at each 
provincial capital and entrusted with the task of 
informing the Emperor of* all that occurred in the 
different -parts of his Empire. There was a close 
connection between the Secret Service and the Postal 
Service so that no secret should leak out. 

There was a regular postal system in vogue in 

, , Mughal India. Along every Imperial 

Postal Service. *- J * 

road there was, at a distance of six 

miles, a post office, called Chowki, where the runner 
(Harkara) brought the Imperial dispatches and whence 
the runner, appointed to go to the next Chowki, set off 
at full speed with the mail. At night the runners were 
guided by the avenues of trees standing- on either side 
of the road. Where there were no trees, heaps of stones 
were set up at a distance of every five hundred paces 
and kept white-washed by the residents of the 
neighbouring villages. Horses were also kept in all the 
serais along the Imperial highways to provide a regular 
mail-service. But the runner was sometimes swifter 
than the horseman, because at night in the dark the 
former ran undeterred by darkness or storm, whilst the 
latter was compelled to ride slowly. On the whole, the 
system worked so well that it secured the stability of the 
Empire by keeping the Emperor in touch with what 
occurred in the provincial governments. 

The beneficent character of the Mughal 

Government comes out to its best 
archftecture. advantage in relation to arts and 

architecture. There was none whose 
skill and ingenuity were not appreciated and rewarded. 


The Imperial patronage raised the fine arts to a high 
water-mark, and as a result, we have those master- 
pieces, which, like the Taj, will always elicit our 
spontaneous admiration. " After all " says an English 
scholar, " the splendour of the Mughal dynasty is 
unsurpassed in the annals of the world, and that 
splendour has always found its supreme expression in 
architecture. The Mughal craftsmen made lovely 
buildings because they had beautiful ideas, and the 
technical skill to embody these ideas in stone." 

" In those days no Government had a regular 

department of public instruction." 

Education. J v 

The Mughal Emperors, however, 
opened schools and colleges in the various parts of their 
Empire and sought to supplement their achievements 
by extensive patronage of literary worth. During the 
Mughal period, education was diffused by the threefold 
means of (1) schools and colleges, (2) mosques and 
monasteries and (3) private houses, typifying three forms 
of education, viz., university, primary and domestic. 
The curriculum embraced the art of administration, 
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, accounts, agriculture, 
economics, history, ethics, astronomy, medicine, physics, 
philosophy, law and ritual. It may be mentioned here 
that in the schools and colleges founded by the Mughal 
Emperors and others, Hindu students studied side by 
side with their Muslim class-fellows and there was no 
restriction in this or in any other respect. For the 
instruction of girls there were separate tnaktabs and 
madrasahs t but usually they received their education in 
their own houses or in the houses of their chosen Ustads 


(teachers) living in the neighbourhood.* 

The impression seems to be current in some 

Was Muslim Rule Q uarters that the Muslim Rule in India 

in India a rule wa? that of foreigners. It is necessary 

of foreigners? . ., , ^ . . f / 

to strike at once at the root of this 

erroneous notion. To be sure, the Muslim Kings from 
the establishment of the Slave Dynasty down to the 
decline of the Mughal Empire were foreigners only in 
the sense in which the sovereigns of England have been 
foreigners to the Mother Country since the time of 
William the Conqueror. It cannot be disputed that 
William was a foreigner, but because he mkde England 
his home, he is as much English as all his successors 
down to the present king have been. Again, they were 
foreigners only in the sense in which all the Presidents 
of the United States of America have been owing to 
their foreign extraction. Aibak, the first king of the 
Sultanate of Delhi, and Babar, the first king of the 
Mughal Empire, came from foreign lands, no doubt, but 
they settled down in this country, made it their 
permanent home, identified themselves with the interests 
ci the country and ruled it rather as Indians than as 
foreigners. Their successors were born in India, lived 
in India and died in India. Thus, they were Indian 
every inch. They came as foreigners indeed, but like 
the Aryans, who too were foreigners, they engrafted 
themselves on the Indian soil, sucked into their veins 
the Indian sap, nurtured themselves under the warmth 

*For the contributions made by the Muslim Kings and 
others to the sacred cause of education, vide Education in Muslim 


of the Indian sun and conditioned their growth, 
multiplication and expansion under the Indian climates. 
So, with the march of time they became, with each 
succeeding generation, 'of the earth earthy'. The 
metamorphosis, which was proceeding apace, was 
rendered complete by the intermingling of the children 
of the soil. If they retained a distinctive stamp, it was 
largely of religion, but that too was evanescent, because 
the converts to the faith from the natives were 
indistinguishably absorbed into their ranks. Many of 
those who still retained their old faith completely 
identified themselves with the patriotic spirit so natural 
to the sons of Islam and were called to occupy from the 
lowest position to the highest, next only to the king's. 
Again, it was the Muslims who first put a barrage 
against the Khyber Pass and other Eastern Passes and 
thus kept India in immunity from foreign invasions. 
Finally, all the material resources of the State were 
spent in the country itself and nothing was drained away 
to foreign lands. Another important feature of the 
Muslim rule was that the ruling class did not interfere 
with the old institutions of the natives. The time- 
honoured system of corporate village government and 
district administration was not disturbed in the least 
and every care was taken to establish law and order 
within the country and to maintain a peaceful policy 

Some have gone even so far as to declare all 
Are Muslims Musalmans as foreigners. With the 

foreigners ? exception of a few Semitic races, such 

as the Sayyp.ds, the Qureshls and others, the forefathers 


of a vast majority (9/1 Oth) of Muslims were Hindus and 
hence Indian. They embraced Islam and left behind 
generations of Muslims who multiplied in numbers as 
the time rolled on. Change of religion does not imply 
change of nationality and an Indian Hindu who becomes 
a Muslim to-day does not become an Arab, an Afghan 
or a Persian, but continues to be Indian as long as he 
does not change his nationality. As regards the Sayyads 
and others who came from outside, settled in this 
country and made it their home, it is never too much 
to say that they were Indian quite as much as the 
Aryans who preceded them. Just as the Aryans came 
from outside, took up their permanent abode in India 
and became Indian in course of time, similarly they (i.e. 
Sayyads and others) came as foreigners no doubt ; but, 
like their predecessors (Aryans 1 , they made India their 
home and became naturalised jn it. 

Social Features 

The cultural unity of India was another enduring 
achievement of the Muslim Rule. 

Cultural unity of Hindu-Muslim social intercourse ; 

India during the 

Muslim Rule. Hindus and Muslims studying side 

bv side in the same schools without 
any restrictions ; compulsory education in Persian ; 
mutual exchange of words, thoughts, and ideas both 
in arts and literature ; adoption and incorporation 
all these forces combined and cumulatively contributed 
to the cultural unity of India during the Muslim Rule, 
particularly during the Mughal Period under the tolerant 
rule of the Great Mughals. There were *nany Muslim 
scholars who studied Hindu arts and sciences, wrote 


poetry and prose and encouraged their cultivation, 
Lil'ewise, there were several Hindus who cultivated 
Muslim arts and sciences and made their mark in 
Persian literature. Either community contributed to 
the literature of the other, enriching its vocabulary 
and ennobling its outlook on life and letters. They 
devised a common medium of expression, Urdu, and 
developed it into a literary language. All these forces, 
while acting and reacting on each other, brought the 
two communities nearer to each other, merging them 
into a homogeneous whole. All this had its natural 
result in the evolution of a common culture which 
united them and bridged the gulf which existed between 
them on account of religious differences. 

It is a commonplace of history that the Musalmans 
Muslim Soc.ety have alw ays been great nationalists, 

and the sources because nationalism is at the very 
of its strength. r . 

core ot their religion. A Musalman, 

who is not a nationalist, is not, strictly speaking, 
a true follower of his faith inasmuch as he is not 
obeying the Divine Order : " Let there be in you a 
nation summoning unto the good." In India, as 
elsewhere in the Muslim World, the Musalmans 
formed one solid nation, ready to immolate themselves 
at the shrine of religion, honour and love. Their life of 
action moderated their fear of death and they achieved 
uncommon triumphs in almost every sphere of human 
endeavour. Their religion was a great source of strength 
to them. The wars of the Crescent were won, in the 
first place by science, in the second by patience, and in 
the third by discipline. The five daily prayers portended 


active life, fasting in the month of Ramzan implied 
a test of endurance, the niggardliness of nature and*the 
rigours of climate, in which (hey lived, meant an excellent 
discipline for them ; while the vision of becoming 
a foremost nation of the world fired their spirit. 

The proverbial pomp and magnificence of the 
Mughal Court will always remain a 
byword of those who have even a 
nodding acquaintance with Indian 
history. The foreign travellers were surprised at the 
splendour that surrounded the Sovereign and his Court. 
On Fridays, after public prayer, piusicians, story-tellers, 
athletes and wrestlers assembled at the Royal Court and 
amused the King and his courtters with their 
performances. The Court presented a scene of most 
joyous activities and there was nothing wanting to make 
the show a splendid success. 

Dress in Mughal India is another instance of the 
Male Dress vanished glory upon which the mind 

delights to dwell. Hailing from 
different climates, the warlords of Islam naturally paid 
great attention to the requirements of their dress. Wool 
was preferred to cotton and silk to the flimsy gauze- 
like stuffs in fashion with the native aristocracy. The 
trousers worn by the people of India during the pre- 
Islamic period made room for the Pajama more 
stylish and close-fitting, which came to be known 
as halwar, or Izar, tied by a string with tussles at the 
waist ; the high-heeled slippers gave place to the heel- 
less. The so-called Jamah became thfe usual, court 
dress. : Knee-long in the beginning, it reached up to the 


ankles in the later Mughal days. The Nadrl wear, 
invented by Jahangir, was a robe of honour reserved 
for the favoured few of his courtiers. One of the 
noblest contributions made by Musalmans to Indian 
dress is the popular head-wear called Pagrl, which 
.became universal after the establishment of the Mughal 
Empire in India. The dress of the Emperor was often 
made of thin material, interwoven with gold thread and 
decorated with embroidered patterns of flowers and 
foliage. His head-wear was embellished with pearls, 
jems and jewels. 

It is extremely difficult to determine at this distant 

^ date the minutice of female dress 

Female Dre^s. 

because of the observance of privacy 

among the ladies of the Harems. The paintings of 
eminent court ladies are non-existent, or are too 
apocryphal to be described in detail. A reputed portrait 
of Empress Nurjahan distinctly shows her in close- 
fitting trousers and bodice coming down to the end 
of the Shalwar and a slight Sari to serve for setting 
rather than for clothing. The female-dancers dressed 
themselves in full skirts of the flimsiest material with a 
light jaugy Sari and a tight-fitting bodice with long 
sleeves. This was, perhaps, necessitated by the very 
nature of their profession. 

Profuse jewellery was used for extra-personal 

ornamentation. The use of Kamar- 
decoration. band, or the waist-band, was 

universal among both the sexes. 
For the rest, it may be mentioned that almost every 
part of the body, on which some ornament or other 


<x>uld possibly be fixed or hung, was not without* it. 
Anklets, bracelets and armlets rivalled necklaces, 
collars and girdles the former adding ornamental 
splendour to feminine grace and the latter adding form 
to masculine vigour. The nose-ring is a Muslim 
contribution to Indian woman's face ornaments. The 
Musalmans made ear-rings much lighter but more 
brilliant and valuable than before. Of personal 
ornaments, the use of betel, or pdn, to colour lips as 
well as to sweeten breath, and of henna to colour 
palms, nails and finger-tips of hands and nails and soles 
of feet of females as well as gra^ bearcft, moustaches 
and heads was in vogue in those times as it is now. 

In amusement and recreation the Musalmans 
Am se t maintained throughout their ascendancy 

those illustrious traditions of boundless 
magnificence which have com'e down to posterity and 
still astound the foreigners. Of outdoor games, Chaitsar 
(chess) and Chaupar (a game played with dice or 
cowries on a piece of cloth gr board) seem to have been 
favourite with the commonalty as well as aristocracy. 
Akbar is credited with the repute of having invented a 
number of new games on the principle of Chaupar 
and playing-cards. Gentler arts, such as music and 
painting, were among other indoor amusements. 
Hunting, chariot-racing, pigeon-flying, gladiatorial 
combats, elephant-fights, swimming and Chaugan (polo) 
may also be mentioned among the popular outdoor 
sports. "In many of these sports" says Professor K. T. 

Shah, " women joined their men-folk in a most perfect 


The lot of women, as ordained by the Holy 

Qur'an, the real place they occupy in 
Status of women. P 

the frame-work of Muslim society, is 

absolutely misunderstood by an alien missionary as 
much as by a native visionary. The widespread, not to 
say the ludicrously untenable notion, that women in 
Islam have no souls, that they are too much the ser- 
vants of their husbands' passions or the toys of their 
idle hours, has by this time been fully exploded, and it 
is now certain that it was nothing more than what a 
jaundiced eye could see.* The honour of women has 
always been jealously safeguarded by the followers of 
Islam. The very word Harem signifies something 
sacred and shows that women were held in honour 
verging on veneration. This is borne out by the 
testimony of native historians as well as by foreign 

Slavery was a recognised institution in Mughal India 

c,. as it was everywhere else in the 

Slavery J 

world. It must, however, be remem- 
bered here that in Islam little degradation is attached to 
the condition of slaves. The fact that slaves and 
their sons could rise to the most distinguished positions 
in the State is a glowing tribute to the attitude of Islam 
towards slaves.") Besides, we know for certain that the 
State always encouraged the practice of manumission. 
Akbar is credited with the introduction of a reform^ 
whereby the prisoners of war were forbidden to be 

*See Spirit of Islam, pp. 222-57. 
., pp. 258-67. 


Religious Features . 

Unlike their predecessors the Indo-Bactrians, the 
Extraordinary Sakas, the Hunas and others the 

Muslim 01 " Musalmans were not absorbed by 

population, the very elastic and ever-expanding 

causes. Hinduism. On the other hand, they 

made large conversions in this country. The 
followers of Islam multiplied in India during the 
Muslim rule and we are not in the least surprised at 
their rapid growth when we penetrate deep into the 
problem and discover some inevitable forces working 
towards this end. * * 

In matters of faith, the human mind is prone to 
work in certain paradoxical ways : 
While the Darned seek for their satis- 
faction the remote and the abstruse, 
the crude, on the other hand, are always in quest of the 
simplest and the most direct to which they cling tena- 
ciously. Customs, ceremonies, pictures and idols are 
various ways of impressing an idea on the rude mind. 
The transcendant philosophy of Hinduism was the 
monopoly of the favoured few who so jealously guarded 
its treasures partly frbm motives of self-aggrandisement 
and partly because they thought it would not answer ta 
cast pearls before swine that they thought it was 
sufficient if the curiosity of the vulgar was dazzled by 
an array of picturesque ceremonials and the splendour 
of images and idols preserved in shrines raised at 
inestimable costs. The ignorant felt, howpver imper- 
ceptibly at the time, a great gulf between them and t*heir 
preceptors. They saw in the advent of Islam the 


visions of liberation from intellectual thraldom. The 
Muslim missionaries had an untold advantage of a 
clear-cut cosmogony and a definite set of dogmas about 
heaven and hell, how to attain the former and avoid the 
latter, in contrast with the vague and poetical version of 
popular superstitions presented by Hinduism. The 
doctrinal simplicity of Islam, which was like an open 
book to all, from the highest to the meanest, heralded 
the dawn of the day of the down-trodden. For the 
slaves of numerous gods and rituals, the brotherhood of 
Islam, the simple monotheistic idea of God, the 
democratic principle of equality and the rationalistic 
doctrines, like fasting and prayers, had a lure that was 
irresistible. Voluntary conversions were the inevitable 

The spirit of freedom has always had a fascination 

for all races under all climes and 
Spirit of freedom , . 1-1 

conditions. It is no mere platitude 

to say that this spirit is inherent in mankind. It has 
moulded the destinies of nations. Self-realisation is 
nothing but a discovery of this spirit. It has been the 
corner-stone of the greatest of our empires. It is in the 
.fitness of things that the classes to which a degrading 
position had been assigned in Hindu society, leading to 
invidious distinctions between the natural rights of man 
and man, should shake off their lethargy, and thus, 
giving a rude shock to the Pharisaism of the Brahmans, 
raise up such a tornado of vindictiveness against the 
helpless visionaries that the only course open to them 
was to seek shelter in the fold of Islam. To the low- 
.caste Hindi", the new faith meant a perfect democracy 


wherein the stains of blood and occupation were 
exorcised by the pronouncement of the ' open sesame 1 
of the simple Islamic creed : ' There is no God but 
Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet/ Thus, it was 
the human aspect of the Muslim faith which was at the 
back of its propagation and proselytising capabilities. 
Too much cannot be said about the Muslim 
religion as a spiritual force. Its 
intrinsic worth has been a magnet for 
all seekers after truth. It was this 
that occasioned conversions during that period and it is 
this that is winning converts even*iow, George Bernard 
Shaw does not over-estimate the value of Islam when 
he says that ' England in particular nd the rest of 
Western Europe in general are sure to embrace Islam 
within a century/ This is a fact, otherwise how can 
Musalmans, poor and powerless as they are, win 
converts of the calibre of Lord Headley, Kbalid 
Sheldrake, David Upson, K. L. Gauba, etc.,- not from 
the ignorant classes of the lowest strata, but from the 
most cultured classes of the highest order. Everyone 
feels that the laws of Islam are the laws of Nature 
which must ultimately prevail. The spirit of Islam 
dominates the world and the tendency of Islamisation is 
patent to the naked eye. 

The noble examples set by the votaries of Islam 
their chaste lives, their sincere devo- 
'ion, their unselfish motives for the 
spread of their religion must have 
contributed to the same end in no small measurer 
The career and character of such men as Kb 


Muin-ud-Din Chishti, Sayyad Ali Hajveri (also called 
Data Sahib), Bandanawaz Sayyad Muhammad Gesudaraz 
and Shaikh Sallm Chishti are cases in point. 

The desire for material prosperity lies embedded in 
the very conception of freedom. The 

advantages forces that should underly such a 

desire can by no means be over- 
estimated. Social uplift was a vital factor that accele- 
rated conversions into mass movements. The following 
ends can be easily comprehended to have been in view 
side by side with spiritual cravings : a lucrative post, or 
position in the State, escape from the payment of the 
Jizia and other cesses levied on the Zimmis, daily 
contact with the ruling class which centred in itself all 
the graces of good breeding and culture, the personal 
favours of the Emperor, which in itself meant so much 
in those times. 

Recent census reports have directed our attention 
towards another possibility which 
Muslim races. accounts for the preponderance of 

Muslim numbers over those of others 
in some parts of this country. This is the virility oi 
Muslim races which, on account of the heritages of food 
and mode of living, has immense capacity for the pro- 
pagation of species. All this furnishes an explanation for 
the rapid spread of Islam so often viewed with amazement. 
In the light of the circumstances presented above, 
11 No compulsion the slanderous theory that Islam 
in religion." wag propagate( j j n i n( ji a a t the point 

of the sword does not hold, especially in view of the 
Quranic teaching : ' Let there be no compulsion in 


religion.' Forcible conversions, if any during the 
war-times, may at the most be acknowledged to* be 
only a temporary phase, for the permanent acquiescence 
in the faith thus imposed upon is highly incredible. 
Had Islam been propagated under compulsion, verily 
there would have been no Zimmls in India and else- 
where, where Islam was once so supreme. 

In passing, it will not be without interest to note 
that there were many political, social 

Forces that an( j religious forces operating secretly 

brought about b * . " \ 

a modus vivendi and silently fora moans Vivendi, if not 

an7A"nd\usm. for a complete ^conciliation, between 
Islam arid Hinduism. Among the 
political forces may be mentioned thse that led the 
Hindus to join hands with the Mu^almans in the event 
of a common danger. Men as well as women of all 
castes, who had suffered much, felt drawn together in a 
common bond of sympathy. The policy of opening 
careers to talents contributed much to mutual love. 
Socially, the presence of Hindu women in Muslim Harems 
went far enough towards* welding the two elements 
together. The schools, where Hindus and Muslims 
received their education together, too had a great unify- 
ing influence. The policy of religious toleration and the 
influence of the Muslim Sufi, who came to deride the 
ritualistic side of his faith and believed that salvation was 
a concern for all, that all were equal in the eyes of God, 
and that there was no difference between the high-born 
and the low, between a Hindu and a Musalman, were 
among the religious force which had no mean share in bring- 
ing about a reconciliation between Islam and Hinduism. 


The forces that were working for the modus 
vivendi were also responsible for the 

Mo'vemeS Bhaktl rise of the Bhakn Movement analo- 
gous and contemporary to the Reform- 
ation Movement of Mediaeval Europe which recognized 
no difference between Ram and Rahim, Ka'ba and 
Kailash, Qur'an and Puran, and inculcated that 
Karma is Dharma. The preachers of this creed 
Ramananda, Kabir, Dadu, Ramdas, Surdas, Nanak and 
Chaitanya who flourished in different parts of India 
and preached the principle of Unity of God, were 
immensely influenced by Islam. Sikhism is only a 
phase of the same movement. 

The influence of Islam on Indian religious life 
and thought has continued to our 

Tnflurnrp of . , ... ,. . . ., 

Islam on Indian own t' mes an " W1 *I continue into the 

religious hfe future which is still before us. The 

and thought. . . 

systems of belief in vogue among the 

Indians at the advent of the Musalmans in India had 
drifted very largely away from the fundamental 1 
principles and practices embodied in their earliest religious 
texts and numerous forms of idolatry had beep 
substituted for divine worship. Things have changed so 1 
much since the advent of Islam that though the 
orthodox still have idols in their temples, their attitude 
towards them is not the same as it used to be before 
Islam appeared in India. The intelligentsia among them 
assert that the idols are not worshipped as gods, but 
that they are employed as aids to concentration of 
thought and that those who appear to worship them 
are, in fact, worshipping Him to Whom alone worship is 


due. The influence of Islam can be clearly traced in 
this changed attitude of the Hindus, so also in the 
movements which have sprung up within the fold of 
Hinduism itself for combating idol-worship and reviving 
the ancient Vedic faith. Though the Sikhs and the 
ArySsamajists sometimes adopt a militant attitude 
against Islam in order, perhaps, to counteract its 
influence, they owe a lasting debt of gratitude to Islam, 
to which they owe the origin and existence of their 
religions which, under the influence of Islam, denounce 
idol-worship, preach the unity of God, condemn 
priest-hood, deprecate caste restrictions, adfait others into 
the fold of their faiths and recommend widow-marriage. 
This is what Islam has contributed to Indian religious 
thought and spiritual ideals. 

In India, Islam was represented by its two famous 

f he two Royal sects : *^ e *^ as anc * 4 ^ e Sunnis. 
Houses of Islam Geographically, the former were Per- 
in Mughal India. . VT . tl , , . 

sian. Numerically the latter were 

stronger. The Sunnis in the North and the Shias in 
the South formed the two Royal Houses of Islam in 
India. As almost everywhere in the Muslim World, these 
two sects of IsUm * were at daggers drawn with each 
other and a fierce rivalry existed between them. 

Economic Features 

The early Emperors of India were occupied too 
much with the work of conquest and consolidation. 
Consequently, in a relatively unsettled state of affairs 
economic development could not take place quite so 
effectively as in the more peaceful times. But gradually 
as the Mughal power struck its root deep into the Indian 


soi 1 , the Mughal Emperors began to devote their 

attention to the material well-being of their subjects. 

Agriculture, the most important industry of India, 

was properly understood and encour- 

gn U ' aged by the Mughal Kings. They 

introduced multifarious reforms: waste lands were 

reclaimed, canals were opened, tanks were constructed 

and wells were dug for irrigation purposes.* The 

interests of the peasants, who constituted the back-bone 

of Indian social structure, were properly looked after 

and every i impetus was given to agricultural pursuits. 

The beneficeni. results were that agriculture improved, 

agriculturists flourished, peasants prospered and the 

land revenue increased abundantly. 

Closely connected with agriculture is the land 
Land Revenue revenue system which next demands 

System and its a word of comment. To Sher Shah 
wor ing. 

introducing an elaborate system of revenue settlement 
based on the actual measurement of land, which was 
subsequently improved by Akbar the Great. The 
system is justly regarded as one of the crowning achieve- 
ments of Mughal Rule in India. It is in fact an 
enduring contribution to Indian agriculture. It has 
survived in India under the British Rule with all its 
essential features under the Raiyatwarl Settlement. The 
share of the State was sometimes one-third and often 

* It may appropriately be pointed out here that it was the 
Muslims who, for the first time, introduced the Persian- wheel 
and dug canals in India for purposes of irrigation. This 
viras decidedly a great improvement on the means of irrigation 
then known ID India. 


one-fourth of the aggregate produce, which was paid in 
cash or kind according to the convenience of the cultivator. 
At present the land revenue represents about one- 
Was the land fifth of the aggregate produce of the 

revenue whole land under cultivation. There 

exorbitant? . . . - .,. ,_ ., .. 

is no instance of any Hindu or Muslim 

ruler who could be satisfied with such a low rate of 
land revenue. How is then such an enormous rate of 
land revenue to be accounted for? The reason is not 
far to seek : In the past, the land revenue constituted 
the main source of State income ; whereas the sources 
of revenue, such as the income-tax 1 and customs duties, 
in these days are so important that * the land revenue 
has ceased to be a source of Imperial revenue/ 

Professor Brij Narain, while comparing a farmer 
of Akbar's time with his brother of 

& e nd f ht kbar ' s ^y. refers to tbe status of a 

brother of to-day Lyallpur farmer, the most opulent of 
cojnpare . ^ c j ags ^ an( j comes to an interesting 

conclusion. He points out that Akbar's peasant 
was more prosperous than the best of these days. 
The instructions to the collectors of the land revenue 
were couched in extremely humanitarian terms and 
were worked with great lenity unless we postulate that 
they were not strictly enforced. Rebates and remissions 
were never grudged. According to Mr. Moreland, the 
land was cultivated in small holdings in the seventeenth 
century, but we are left in the dark as to the average 
size of a holding. That it was larger than , the average 
holding of to-day is true because a larger proportion of 
population is now supported by land thaa in those 


days. Finally, the average yield per acre in those 
times must have been greater than at present because of 
the depreciation in the quality of land caused by more 
intensive cultivation in order to keep pace with the 
increase in population. Even if we suppose for argu- 
ment's sake that the fertility of the land then under 
cultivation has not diminished during the past three 
hundred years, we cannot but admit that extensive 
cultivation, necessitated by growing population, embrac- 
ing inferior lands, must result in the decrease of average 
produce. To avoid further controversy, suffice it to 
say that reliable statistics are now available to prove 
that an average workman in those days was better off 
than at present.* It is estimated that the rupee in terms 
of important food-grains, such as wheat, gram, barley, 
jowar and ghee t was, three centuries ago, worth thirteen 
times as much as the rupee of to-day. The average 
daily wage of an ordinary workman was 2'7d. If 
Coryat, an English traveller, could maintain himself 
1 very competently ' in his travels, ' with meate, drinke 
and clothes' for 2d. a day, we can safely assume that 
a common labourer and a native of the country could 
maintain himself as competently, if not more, with the 
same. Smith says that a man could live on ' Id. to 
2d. a day.' The inference is obvious. 

We cannot presuppose a country depending on 

F -mime Relief agriculture without facing failures of 

crops, resulting in starvation and 

deaths. Famine-relief, if rendered properly, is a tribute 

te the stability of a State and its economic well-being. 

*Sce Indian Economic Life, by Brij Narain. 


So it is a part of our review to state how famines were 
dealt with in those days. During the Mughal Rule 
whenever a famine broke out, State assistance was 
given to the famine-stricken and grain was supplied 
free from the Imperial granaries. State hospitals and 
aim-houses were established in important quarters for 
the sick and the poor. Large Khanqahs, or charitable 
establishments, further helped the State in the 
administration of relief, and the testimony of foreign 
travellers shows that at these Khanqahs hundreds of 
men were fed gratis. With all the solicitude of the 
State, the horrors of famine were great and alarming 
because of the imperfect means of communication and 
transportation. The fact, however, remains that the 
Mughal Government was alive to its duty of combating 
this calamity, or at least mitigating its horrors. 

The State encouraged other industries also. Among 

_ . f . local manufactures, foreign travellers 
Textile Industries. . _ . ' . _ . 

have counted six fine cotton fabrics 

and have recorded that silk handkerchiefs and caps 
embroidered with gold, painted ware, basins, cups, steel 
guns, knives and scissors were all manufactured at 
different places in this country. It is also said that a 
kind of white paper was also manufactured from the 
bark of a tree which was very smooth and glossy. 

Trade was carried on with foreign countries. The 

- . most important item in the foreign 

Foreign Trade. ; 

trade of India may be srfid to have 
been textile manufactures of all sorts. Borbose and 
Varthema, two European writers, inform us that India 
supplied 'all Persia, Tartary, Turkey, Syria, Barbary, 


Arabia, Ethiopia, . . .with silk and cotton stuffs.' Other 
articles of export were the beautiful shawls of Kashmir, 
made of pure wool and silk mixture, the carpets of 
Lahore and Agra, and the cotton cloth of Dacca, called 
the Dacca muslin, fittingly styled 'Ab-i-Rawan,' or the 
moving water, famous in the world for its fine texture. 
In the middle of the seventeenth century India supplied 
Europe with diamonds, pearls, chintzes, large quantities 
of spices, drugs, such as horax, opium, etc., tobacco 
and saltpetre. Even the steel used in the manufacture 
of the famous Damascus blades was exported from the 
Kingdom of Golconda. Opium and indigo, with dye 
stuffs, were practically Indian monopolies and formed 
the bulk of India's international trade. Skins and hides 
were also exported. Among the articles of import may 
be mentioned woollen fabrics, scarlet cloth, metal works, 
raw silk, porcelain, glass-ware, paper and such other 
things. Animals, specially horses, were imported from 
Arabia, Persia and Turkey. Of other animals, such as 
apes, peacocks, parrots and other pretty birds, figuring 
either as exports or as imports, there is no specific 
evidence recorded. The trade in these animals, 
therefore, if any, must have been very insignificant. 
Ship-building was also an important industry of 

ot . ..... India in those days. Certainly, wood 

Ship-building. / Jf 

products, occurring so commonly in 
Indian trade, must have been Indian ships constructed 
to serve as ocean-carriers. Mr. Moreland informs us 
" that apart from the Portuguese trade to Europe, the 
great bulk of the commerce in the Indian seas was 
carried in ships built in India, and that most of these 


and certainly all the large ones, were constructed on the 
west coast, not at any one centre, but at various pojnts 
or inlets within easy reach of the forests. It is 
practically certain that India also built all the small 
boats required for the coasting trade from BengSl as far 
as Sind, and the aggregate volume of shipping was 
therefore very great when measured by contemporary 
standards/ 1 We know that both the English and the 
Dutch had some of their ships constructed in India. 
This could not be so unless those ships were cheap and 
durable. A letter of 1668 A. C. by the English 
President and Council to the Company in reply to some 
anticipated objections with regard to the starting of 
ship-building in Bombay states: "...these carpenters 
are grown so expert and masters of their art that there 
are many Indian vessels that in shape exceed those 
that come either out of England or Holland." 

The industrial condition *of India during the Mughal 
Period and before has been admirably summed up by the 
industrial Commission in the following passage : 

" At a time when the west of Europe, the birth- 
place of modern industrial system, was inhabited by 
uncivilized tribes, India was famous for the wealth of 
her rulers and for the high artistic skill of her 
craftsmen. And even at a much later period, when the 
merchant adventurers from the west made their first 
appearance in India, the industrial development of the 
country was, at any rate, not inferior to that of more 
advanced European nations. 1 '* 

* This view is shared and supported by n&ny an eminent 
authority on the subject ; e. g. t " The skill of the Indians jn 


Turning next to the mineral wealth of the country, 

, , , . we find that gold was found in 
Mineral Wealth. TT , , . 

Kamaon and in the Punjab mountains 

and rivers ; silver in Agra ; copper in Narnaul and 
Kamaon ; iron in Bengal ; saltpetre in Thatta, Gujarat 
and Kheora ; tin in Jammu ; sweet-lime in Kheora ; and 
saltpetre was in abundance at Agra and PatnS, ; whereas 
diamonds were extracted from the mines of Harpal (in 
Bengal) and Golconda. 

Coming next to the currency of the country during 

the Muslim rule, we notice that coins 

Currency System. Q{ various denominations were in 

circulation in India. In the main, the currency 
consisted of gold mohars, silver tankas and copper 
dams. There were also fractional parts of these three 
standards. Villagers and citizens of small towns used 
shells (cowries) in the ordinary bargains of their daily 
life. The ratio between gold and silver coins varied 
from time to time, though both were coined freely by 
the Mughal Emperors. It was 8 : 1 in the early 
Muslim period and had fallen to 7 : 1 after the conquest 
of the Deccan by Ala-ud-DIn Khilji, had now become 
the production of delicate woven fabrics, in the mixing of 
colours, the working of metals and precious stones and in all 
manners of technical arts has from very early times enjoyed 
world-wide celebrity." Professor Weber. ct Industry not only 
supplied all local wants but also enabled India to export its 
finished products to foreign countries," Ranade. " It was this 
trade and prosperity that attracted the European traders to 
India. Thei- rivalry to secure a footing in India at that time 
was occasioned not by the raw materials of the country but by 
the value and variety of her manufactures and crafts." 
Professors Jathar and Beri. (Also see Education in Muslim India, 
PD. 200 ff.) 


9'4 : 1. Gold was the chief currency of the country 
for all big transactions. Ordinary calculations were 
made in rupees and gold w#s used for making presents 
and paying tributes. The silver tankas, first coined by 
Altmash, became the legal tender of Northern India 
for all subsequent years and acquired its present weight 
(180 grains) and the name of rupee in the reign of Sher 
Shah Sun (1542 A. C.) The fact that the currency of 
India underwent considerable improvement in purity, 
weight and artistic execution during the Mughal period 
can never be called in question. Akbar deserves very 
high credit for the excellence of his extremely varied 
coinage, both as regards the purity *of metal, the 
fulness of weight, and artistic execution. Neither 
Akbar, nor his successors, ever yielded to the 
temptation of debasing coinage either in weight or in 
purity, so that Smith is fully justified in pronouncing 
the Mughal coinage as far superior to that of Queen 
Elizabeth or other contemporary sovereigns of Europe. 
Many a magnificent Muslim monarch, like Balban, 
'Ala-ud-Dln, Firoz Shah Tughluq, 
Communication Sikandar Lodhi, Sher Shah Sun, and 

* and . almost all the Great Mughals paid 

transportation. ' . , 

specific attention to the construction 

of roads and highways in their kingdom. Several roads 
were laid so expeditiously that they linked together all 
the strategic frontier cities of the Empire. Sher Shah 
Sun's name is intimately associated with the 'opening of 
the Grand Trunk Road, running from Peshawar to 
Calcutta. Riding horses, bullock-carts, elephants, 
camels, and palanquins were the principal means of 


conveyance and baggage transportation. Great care was 
taken to secure the person and property of the travellers. 
Many caravanserais were built along the chief routes 
with fruit-gardens and separate arrangements for the 
comfort of Hindus and Muslims alike. The splendour 
of the Imperial Musalmans, as displayed in their 
extensive paraphernalia of travel and encampment, 
reached its climax during the Mughal Period of Indian 
history. So says Professor K. T. Shah : 

" In Muhammadan times, there is hardly a prince 
of any importance who is not in some ways connected 
with road-making. Great arterial highways, planted with 
an arcade of trees all along their length, linked the principal 
centres of the Empire over hundreds and hundreds of 
miles. The comfort and convenience of the travellers was 
duly secured by the public hostels walled enclosures, 
with ample lodging and stabling, water tanks, and provi- 
sion-shops, to supply all the needs of the travellers at 
convenient stages ; while the distance travelled was 
indicated by mile-stones easily noticeable even at night. 
Where the nature of the country would not permit of 
proper road making, or where transport by water was 
more convenient, the rivers were utilized for popular as 
well as Imperial voyages, attended by all pomp and 
ceremony of a most luxurious court." 

The people in general, we gather from the 

contemporary chronicles, were, on 
Condition of ., , . , , 

the people. t" 6 whole, happy and prosperous. 

Their houses were kachcha as well 
as pakka, though those of the former kind (kachcha) 
were more numerous. They were ' airy, and pleasant, 


most of them having courts and gardens, being 
commodious inside and containing good furniture. 1 
Every modest house was well-furnished, and had a 
garden, a reservoir and an audience room, called 
DlwanWiana, the floor of which was covered with costly 
carpets. Every important city had schools and colleges, 
libraries and literary societies, hostels and hospitals, 
baths and wells for the convenience of the public ; and 
the streets, we learn, were daily cleaned by sweepers. 
Barring out a few instances of intolerance and 

Relations between some outbursts of fanaticism, the 
Hindus and relations between the Hindus and 

Muslims. \M r " j i j 

Muslims were cordial and were 

characterised by good- will and mrtual love and 
toleration. Matrimonial alliances of the Imperial 
House, social equality of all classes of people, 
' uniformity of law and usagp ', indiscriminate distribu- 
tion of posts and powers among all classes of people,* 
regardless of their rank, race or religion, and social 

* Even 'Alamgir, who was so much harassed by the Hindus, 
did not refuse to employ them, in his service. " In an interesting 
collection of Aurangzeb's orders and despatches as yet 
unpublished ", says Sir Thomas Arnold, " we find him laying 
down what may be .termed the supreme law of toleration for 
the ruler of people of another faith. .....Government posts ought 

to be bestowed according to ability and from no other consideration." 
(Preaching of Islam, p. 214). That 'Alamgir was true to 
this * supreme law of toleration ', is testified to by Hamilton who 
says : 

"The religion of Bengal by law established is Mahometan, 
yet for one Mahometan there are above an hundred pagans, 
and the publick offices and posts of trust are filled with men 
of both persuations." (A New Account of the East Indies, Vol., ii, 
P. 14.) 


intercourse were some of the dominant factors which 

contributed to communal harmony and national solidarity. 

As this interesting study comes to a close, it is 

_ , . hoped that the preceding account is 

Conclusion. r , ; , 

sufficient to enable the reader to gauge 

the prosperity of those times. The Mughals have come 
and gone, but they have left a lasting impress not only 
on the history of their times but also on the hearts of 
the inhabitants of Hindustan, Hindus as well as 
Musalmans. Their civilizing influence, as seen in their 
Sulh-i-kul policy, enjoining the freedom of worship and 
the liberty of conscience, in the protection of the poor, 
in the works of public welfare, in the encouragement of 
arts and sciences, poetry and philosophy, in the promotion 
of education and literature ; in the abundance of industry 
and commerce, in the rich efflorescence of fine arts, can be 
traced not only in the huge mass of historical literature 
that has come down to us, but also in the beneficial 
institutions which have survived to our own times. 
The revenue and the judicial departments of the present 
Indian administration teem with terminologies of their 
invention and in almost every part of Modern India the 
entire language of administration, of navigation, of 
technique in many an art and craft is of Muslim 
creation and bears the stamp of Mughal Rule. 
Mountains were not yet tunnelled and space was not 
yet conquered ; science, in short, had not yet achieved 
its victories. The wonder, therefore, is not that the 
Mughals maintained peace and established law and 
order througnout the length and breadth of their 
far-flung Empire, but that they did it so admirably. 


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Ranking ; , Rowe. 
Odnun-i-lsldm, Jaafar Shard. 
Styar-ul-Muta'dkhkhtrin, Sayyad Ghulam Husain, translated by 

Col. Briggs. 

7 abaqdt-i-Akbari, Nizam-ud-Din Ahmad. 
Takmil-i-Akbarnamah, Inayatullah. 
Tdrikh-i'Ferishta, Muhammad Qasim Fenshta, translated by 


Tarikh-i-Dakan, Khafi Khan (B. I. S.). 
Tarikh-i-Rashidi, Mirza Muhammad Waldar l^ughlat, translated 

by Ross and Elias. 

Tankh-i-Salatin-t'Afaghana, Ahmad Yadgam 
Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi, Abbas Khan Sherwanl. 
Tarikh-i'Shdh Shujai, Muhammad Ma'sum. 
Tazkara-i-Ulama-i-Hind t Maulvi Rahman All. 
Tazkarat-ul-Ulama, translated by Sanaullah Khan. 
Tuzkarat-ul'Saldtin-i'Chaghtaia, Kamwar Khan. 
Tazkarat-ul-Ulama, Kewal Ram. 
Tuzk-i-Babari, Zahir-ud-Dm Muhammad Babar. 
Tuzk-i~Jahanglri t Nur-ud-Din Muhammad Jahangir. 
Waqiyat'i-'Alamgin (Zafarrftmah-i- 1 Alamgin), Aqil Khan Razi. 
Waqiyat-i-Jahnngiri, translated by Major David Price. 
Wiqdyd or Hdldt-i-Asad Beg, Asad Beg. 
Zubdat-ut-Tawdrikh t ShaiKii Nur-ul-Haq. 


Ab-i-Haydt t Maulana Muhammad Husain Azad. 
l Alamgir t Maulvi Abdul Rahman. 
Asdr-us-Sanadid, Sir Sayyad Ahmad Khan. 
Aurangzeb 'Alamgir, Maulana Shibll No'mani. 
Darbdr-i-Akban t Maulana Muhammad Husain Azad. 
Jamia (Journal of Jamia Millla, Delhi). 
Madans u>a Ddr-ul-Ulum, Mauiana Shibll No'mam. 


Maarif, (Journal of Dar-ul-Musannifm, Azamgarh.) 
Makctib-i-'Alamgiri, Sayyad Najib Ashraf Nadvi. 
Salatin-i-Bahmani, Maulana Shibll No'manl. 
Shir-ul-Ajam. Maulana Shibll No'mani 
Torikh-i- Hindustan (ten volumes), Maulvi Zakaullah Khan. 
Tazkara-i-Uldma, Maulana Muhammad Husam Azad. 
Umara-i-Hunud, Said Ahmad Marahrl. 
Waqai-'Alamgiri, Chaudhri Nabl Ahmad Sandelvl. 
Wdqiyvt-i-Dar-ul-Hukumat Dehli, Maulvi Bashir-ud-Din Ahmad. 
Waqiyat-i-Mumlihat-i-BijapuY, Maulvi Bashir-ud-Din Ahmad. 


Calcutta Review, The, Calcutta. 

Hindustan Review, The, Patna. 

Indian Antiquary The, Bombay. 

Islamic Culture, Hyderabad (Deccan). 

Journal of Indian History, Allahabad. 

Jamia (Urdu monthly), Delhi. 

Journal of the Punjab Historical Society, Lahore. 

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta. 

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, London. 

Journal of the Royal Historical Society, London. 

Journal of the Royal Society of A rts t London. 

Ma'arif (Urdu monthly), Azamgarh. 

Modern Review, The, Calcutta. 

Muslim University Journal, Aligarh. 

Twentieth Century, The, Allahabad. 




The accuracy of the story of Babar's ' miraculous death ' as 
told by Allama Abul Fazl and reproduced on pages 21-22 of this 
book has been called in question by some modern research- 
scholars. The first to challenge its authenticity was Professor 
Rushbrook-Wilhams, who, however, left the question undecided 
Dr. Bannerji, the latest biographer o f Humayun. has repeated 
the story, making a few halting suggestions here and there. 
Professor Sri Ram Sharma has written an interesting article on 
the subject and tried to close the controversy for good.* Here I 
cannot do more than to summarise the results of what I have 
been able to gather on the subject from various sources. 

When Humayun fell ill and his illness took a ~enous turn some 
time in the month of April, 1530, A.C., so much so that the Court 
physicians failed to cure him, Babar expressed his desire to have 
recourse to methods other than medicinal. Mir Abul Baqa, the 
leading living saint of the day attached to the Imperial Court, 
suggested that the Emperor, in order to save the life of his son, 
should give away in sacrifice something that was very dear to 
hi.n. Babar decided to sacrifice his own life to save that of his 
beloved son. Some of his associates dissuaded him from this 
step and suggested that the precious Koh-i-Noor, ' worth half the 
daily expenses of the world ', might be given away in sacrifice. 
But quite in keeping with his romantic nature, Babar argued 
that 'a life for a life ' was a better means of persuading fates to 
change their course of action. Thinking that death might spare 
Humayun if he resorted to that step, he walked round the bed of 
his son and prayed that his son's illness might be transferred to 
him. ' O God,' he said, ' if a life can be exchanged for another 
life, I f Babar, give away my life and remaining years to Humayun. 1 
His incessant prayers proved too much for him and it may well 
be said that the fates took him at his word, for he fell ill while 
his son began to recover till at last he was perfectly well. So far 
the story of sacrifice, popularized by Abul Fazl, is correct and 
there is nothing in it that can be questioned. But the miracle 

*For Professor Sri Ram Sharma's article, see Calcutta 
Review, September, 1936. 


did not proceed further, for after some time Babar too recovered 
from his illness and became so well that there was absolutely no 
cause for anxiety, so much so that Humayun was sent away to 
Sambhal because his presence was no longer considered necessa- 
ry. After some time Babar was taken ill again and Humayun 
was called back from Sambhal. On his arrival, Humayun was 
horrified to see his father ill again. He is reported to have 
exclaimed : * I left him well. Wtmt has happened all at once ? ' 
Later, Babar seems to have recovered somewhat, for he is said to 
have ordered the betrothal of two royal princesses. But again 
there was a relapse and again his condition became precarious. 
In order to relieve him of his increasing distress, Humayun held a 
meeting of the Imperial physicians, who, after due consideration 
and consultation, unar'rnously came to the conclusion that 
BS bar's disease was due to the poison administered to him by 
the mother of Ib r ahim Lodhi. They admitted their inability 
and declared that the disease was incurable. Babar then 
nominated Humayun as his successor and after three days he 
expired on Monday, the 25th December, 1530. 

The foregoing facts, pure and simple, clearly show that 
there was no connection whatsoever between Babar's death a^id 
his son's illness. The Imperial physicians would have been, from 
the very nature of the case, quite as willing to connect Babar's 
last illness and death with the miracle (act of God) performed 
by him at the illness of his sen as Babar himself ; but the tact 
that they declared that Babar's last illness was due to the eftects 
of a poison leaves no room for the miracle to continue and 
shows that Humayun's illness had nothing to do with his death. 
The contemporaries too did not see any connection between 
the two and the silence of such writers as Mirza Muhammad 
Haidar Dughlat, Abdul Qadir Badaom, Nizam-ud-Din Ahmad 
and Ferishta on the subject seems to suggest that Babar did not 
die as a result of the sacrifice he performed for saving the life 
of his son. The last part of the ' miraculous story ' (that Babar's 
death was due to the sacrifice) is, therefore, incorrect.* 

* The above piece of information, throwing some fresh light 
on the subject, ought to have been inserted at its proper place 
in Chapter II, but it escaped my notice when that part of the 
book was being printed and hence it finds its place here. 


[Abbreviations. d/o=daughter of ; f/ofather of ; Kh=Khawajah ; 

M.Maulana; m/o=mother of ; P. Prince ;R. ruler; 

S.^Sayyad ; Sh.=-Shaikh ; and s/o* son of.] 

A Abul Path, s/o Shaista Khan, 


Abul Path, Hakim, 105 
Abul Path, Masih-ud-Din, 164, 


Abul Fazl, Allama, 1,106, 110, 
Abul Hasan, Sultan of Bijapur, 


Adul Hasan, Governor of Bena- 
res, 296-97 

Abul Hasan, Painter, 218 
Abul Qasim, s/o Kamran, 85 
Achibal Bagh at Kashmir, 219 
Acmal Khan, 288-89 
Acquaviva, Father Rudolf, 90 
Adah, see Muhammad Shah 


Adham Khan, Akbar's foster- 
brother, 82; His rebellion, 
'Adil Shah, All, 190-91, 236, 238, 

324, 330-31, 338 
'Adil Shah, Sikandar, 349-50 
Administration under Babar, 
22-24 ; Humayun, 42 ft.; , 
Sher Shah, 56 ff.; , Salim 
Shah, 68-9;-, Akbar, 141- 
61 ; , Jahangir, 213-14 ; , 
' Shah Jahan, 274;, Shivaj 
341-42;-, 'Alamgir, 369-72; 
, the Great Mughals, 379 ff. 

Abajl Sonder, 321-22 
Abbas, Shah of Persia, 185 
Abba^ides, 115, 134 
Abdul Hakim Slalkoti, 279 
Abdul Hamid Lahori, 1,224,229 
Abdul Haq Dehlawi, 215 
Abdullah, Governor of Gujarat, 

Abdullah Khan Uzbeg.84-5,104, 

106, 108 
Abdullah Makhdum-ul-Mulk, 

118, 119, 123 
Abdullah, Mir, 175 
^bdul Latif, HumSyun's Court- 
scholar, 46 
AJxlul Mali, Governor of the 

Punjab, 72 
Abdul Malik, Kh , 42 
Abdul Qadir Badaoni, 129,131- 

Abdul Qasim Irani, Mir, 279 
Abdun-Nabi.Sh., 118-19,123,170 
Abdun-Nabi, Sayyad, 305 
Abdur Rahlm, Diwan of Lahore, 

Abdur Rahim, Khan-i-Khanan. 

Abdur Razzaq, 351-52 
Abdus Samad, 151 
Abdus Samad, Kh., 173 
Abui Faiz (Faizi). 121,165,168 



Afghans, 289-90 

AfrHIs, 160 

Afzal Kh5n, 324-25 ; His mur- 
der, 326 

Aghar Khan, 289-90 

Agriculture, 402 

A had is, 160 

Ahl-i-Bait, 48 

Ahl-i-Daulat, 44-5 

Ahl-i-Murad, 44-5 

Ahl-i-Sa'adat. 44-5 

AM-i'Tardb, 44-5 

'Ain-i-Akbari. 139, 163 

Ahmad Mirza, 10 

Ahmad Mullah, 164 

A jit Singh, s/o jaswant Singh, 

Akanna, 350 

Akhar, s/o Aurangzeb, see Mu- 
hammad Akbar. 

Akhar the Great, 6 ; His birth, 
39; His early life, 71-2; His 
accession, 72-3 ; Political 
condition of India in 1556 A. 
C, 73-4 ; Second Battle of 
Panipat, 75-6; Results of 
the Battle, 76; Submission 
of Sur claimants and end of 
the Sur Dynasty, 76-7 ; Bai- 
ram Khan, 77-8; His fall, 
78-81; * Petticoat Govern- 
ment', 81-2; Akbar's posi- 
tion in 1564 A. C., 82 : Re- 
bellion of Khan Zaman, 83 ; 
, Adham Khan, 83 4 ; , Ab- 
dullah Knan, 84-5, ,Uzbegs, 
85-6; Monstrous act of 
Khwajah Mu'azzam, 86 ; 
Akbar and the Rajputs, 86 
ff.; Matrimonial alliances, 

87 ; Careers opened to Raj- 
puts and other Hindus, 87- 
8; Freedom of worship 
and liberty of conscience 
enjoined, 88; Social re- 
forms, 88-9 ; Rajputs recon- 
ciled 89; Akbar and the 
Portuguese, 89 ff; First 
Portuguese Mission, 90; 
Second ,90; Third, 91 ; 
Akbar's object, 91 ; Early 
conquests of Akbar, 92; 
Conquest of Gondwana, 
93 ; , Mew5r, 93-8 ; , 
Gujarat, 98-100;, Bengal, 
100-101 ; Qaqshal rebellion, 
101-102; Conquest of Kabul, 
102-4: North- West Frontier, 
104 ; Roshanite Movement, 
105-106: Conquest of Kash- 
mir, 106-108:, Sind and 
Balochistan, 107; ,Qandhar, 
107-108; The Deccan Cam- 
paign, 108-109; Conquest of 
Ahmadnagar, 109-110 ; -, 
Khandesh, 110-11 ; Extent of 
Akbar's Empire, 111-12; His 
last days, 112-13 ; Dm-i-Ilahi, 
114 ff; Reference to th<> 
history of the Saracens, 114- 
15 ; , To the history of Mus- 
lim rule in India, 115-16; 
Akbar's orthodoxy, 116-18; 
Change into liberalism, 118- 
29 ; Ibadat Khanah, 120-21 ; 
The Document or infallible 
Decree, 121-23; Its impor- 
tance, 123-24; Its effect, 124- 
25 ; Preliminaries to the 
promulgation of the Divine 



Faith, 125-26; Its promulga- 
tion, 126-27; Its principles, 
127-128; Its philosophic 
review, 127-31 ; Anti-Islamic 
ordinances, 131-32 ; Their 
criticism, 132-33 ; Noer's 
appraisal of Badaoni, 133- 
34 ; Sijdah, 134; Fire-worship 
and sun-worship, 134-35 ; 
Why were boars kept in the 
Imperial Palace ? 135 ; 
Women in the Imperial 
Harem, 135-36 ; Why was 
the slaughter of cows for- 
bidden ? 136; Why were 
Mullahs and Shaikhs exiled ? 
136 ; Criticism of Smith's 
views on Akbar's religious 
thoughts, 137-38 ; Was Akbar 
an apostate? 138-40; Ad- 
ministration, 141 ff ; Central 
Government, 142-44 ; Pro- 
vincial Government, 144-45 ; 
District administration, 146- 
47 ; Imperial Service, 147-48; 
Secret Service, 148; Ad- 
ministration of law and 
justice, 148-49 ; Promotion of 
education, 149-50;, Postal 
Service, 150 ; Means of com- 
munication and transporta- 
tion, 151 ; Imperial Mints, 
151 ; Police Force, 152 ; Land 
Revenue System, 153-57; 
Military reforms, 157-61 ; In- 
fantry, 157; Artillery, 157- 
58 ; Cavalry, 158 ; Navy, 158- 
9 ; Elephant- Corps, 1 59 ; 
Mansabdari System, 159 60 ; 
System* of payment, 161; 

Branding of horses and 
keeping descriptive rolls, 
161 ; Literature and fine 
arts, 162 ff; Akbarnamah, 
162-63 ; Aln-i-Akbarl, 163-64 ; 
Tarikh-t-AJ/i, 164 ; Other 
books, 164 ; Translated Ver- 
sions, 164-65 ; Hindu litera- 
ture, 165-66 ; Illustrated Ver- 
sions, 166 ; Muslim Court- 
Scholars, 167-70 ; Hindu 
Court-Scholars, 170-72 ; 

Painting, 172-74; Music, 
174-76; Calligraphy, 176; 
Architecture, 176-78; Gar- 
dens, 178; Estimate of 
Akbar's achievements, 178 79 

Akbarnamah. 1, 139, 162-3 ; 166 

Alai.Sh. ,58 

'Alamgir, see Aurangzeb 

Ala-ud-Dm Khilji, 62,104,161 

Ala-ud-Dm Lodhi, 9, 13. 34 

All, Cousin of Babar, 11 

All Akbar Jam!, Sh., 38 

All Mardan Khan, 239-40, 243, 

Ali Quli Istajlu (Sher Afgan), 
Marriage with Mehr-un-Nisa, 
195 ; His murder, 195-97 

Amar Das, Sikh Guiu, 359-60 

Amar Singh, s/o RanS. PratSp, 
98, 186-88 

Amatya, 342 

'Amil, his duties, 145 

Amin-i-Qazwini, Mirza, 228-29 

Amir Fath-ullah ShirazJ, 166 

Amir Hamzah, Story of, 166 

Amir Khan, 2GO 

Amir-ul-Bahr, 158 

Amritsar, Foundation of, 360 



Amusements, 394 

Angad Dev, Sikh Guru, 359 

Anti-Islamic ordinances, 131 ff. 

Antony Botelho, 139 

Archian, Battle of, 11 

Architecture, under Babar, 27 ; 
, Sher Shah, 63-4; -, Akbar, 
176-78 ;-, Jahangir, 218;-, 
Sh5h Jahan, 276-77;-, 
'Alamgir, 373 ; , the 

Great Mughals, 395-6 

Arghuns, 13 

Arjan Singh, Sikh Guru, 183-4, 

Arjumand Banu Begum (Mum- 
taz Mahal) 228 ; Her career, 
231-32 ; Her character, 233 ; 

Arts, under Babar, 27-30; , 
HumSyun, 42. 47 ; , Sher 
Shah, 63-64 ;-, Akbar ; 172 78; 
, Jahangir 212, 216-19;-, 
Shah Jahan, 27478; , 
'Alamgir, 373; -, The Great 
Mughals in general, 385-6 

Asaf Khan, Governor of Kara- 
Manikpur 93 

Asaf Khan, Uzbeg rebel, 85 

Asaf Khan, f/o Mumtaz Mahal, 
151, 192, 204, 206, 225-28. 231, 
237, 272-3 

Asaf Khan, Akbar's general, 97 

Astha Pradhan, 342 

Askari, Mirza, 20, 33-34,37,39,40 

Astronomy, 41 ; Astronomical 
Tables of Ulugh Beg, 166 

Atka Khan, Shams-ud-Din, 
Vakil of Akbar, 82 

Aurangzeb 'Alamgir, 203, 224, 
228, 239, 241-4 ; His early 

career, 246-47 ; His resigna- 
tion and renunciation of the 
world, 247; His appointment 
to the governorships of diff- 
erent provinces, 248 : His 
second viceroyalty of the 
Deccan and administrative 
achievements, 248-51 ; His 
forward policy against the 
Daccan, 251; War against 
Golconda, 251-2 : , Bijapur, 
252-53 ; His character- 
sketch, 255; His alliance 
with MuradandShuja', 259 ; 
His policy during the War of 
Succession, 260-67 ; Motives 
that actuated him to enter it, 
268-69; Causes of his success, 
269-71; His accession, 281- 
82 ; His early acts, 282-83 ; 
Appointments and transfers 
of Provincial Governors, 283- 
84 ; Expedition against 
Assam, 284-5; Conquest of 
Chittagongr, 285-86; Illness 
of the Emperor, 286-87 ; Sup- 
pression of the Yusafzais, 
287-88; Afridi Rising and 
Imperial losses, 288 ; Khattak 
Rising, 288-90 ; Close of the 
Afghan War, 290; ' Alamgir 
and the Hindus, 291 ff ; Re- 
imposition of the Jizia, 292- 
94 ; Dismissal of Hindu offi- 
cials, 294-5 ; Destruction of 
temples, 295-6 ; The Benares 
Firman, 296-97; Two more 
similar Firmans, 297-98 ; 
Which temples were des- 
troyed and why.' 299-300; 



Whether Hindu schools were 
destroyed ? If so, which and 
why ? 300-301 ; Toleration 
under 'Alamgir, 301-302;* 
'Alamgir justified, 303-4; Jat 
Rebellion, 304-5; Satnamis' 
Insurrection, 305 6; War with 
the Rajputs, 306-10; Invasion 
of Marwar and Mewar, 310- 
12; Rebellion of Prince 
Muhammad Akbar, 312-13; 
Treaty of Udaipur, 313-14 ; 
Results of the Rajput 
Revolt, 314 ; 'Alamgir 
and the Marhattas. 324; 
Shaista Khan sent against 
Shivaji, 331-32 ; Submission 
of Shivaji, 333; Treaty of 
Purandhar, 333-4; Reception 
of Shivaji at the Imperial 
Capital. 335; His imprison- 
ment and escape, 336-38 ; 
Recall of Jai Singh and his 
death, 338; Renewal of 
hostilities between the 
Mughals and the Marhattas, 
340 ; Conquest of Bijapur 
and Golconda, 349-51; Abdur 
Razzaq, 351-2 ; Impolicy of 
the Deccan Conquest, 352-54; 
Suppression of the Marhat- 
tas, 355 ; Expedition against 
Rajah Ram, 357-58; End of 
'Alamgir, 358 ; Mughal Em- 
pire after his death, 358-59 ; 
Suppression of the Sikhs, 
365-66 ; 'Alamgir and the 
English, 366-68; Extent of 
the Mughal Empire under 
4 Alamgir7368-69; Administra- 

tion under him, 369-71 ; 
Re-arrangement of Subahs, 
369; Theocratic character, 
370 ; Suppression of immora- 
lity, 370-71 ; Bait-ul-Mal, 
371 ; Policy of over-centra- 
lization, 371; Justice, 371-72; 
Progress of education, 
372-73 ; Architecture, 373 ; 
Music and Painting, 373-74 ; 
Gardens, 374 ; Character of 
Alamgir, 374-76; Views of 
some Europeans on his 
character and achievements, 

Atharvaveda, 166 

Ayarddnish, 166 

Ayat-ul-Kursi, Commentary on, 

Aivarajah'Nawis, 144 

Azad Bakhsh, s/o Dara Shikoh, 

'Azam, s/o Aurangzeb, See 
Muhammad 'Azam 

'Azam, Khan, 304 

Azan, 131 

Azim Humayun, Governor of 
the Punjab, 67 

Aziz Koka, Khan-i-'Azam, 99, 
102, 119, 182-83 


Babar, Zahir-ud-Din Muham- 
mad, 6, 9 ff; Early career, 
10-11; Conquest of Kabul 
11-12; Political condition of 
India on the 1 eve of his 
invasion 12-13 ; First Battle 
of Panlpat t 13-14 ; War with 
the Rajputs, 15-16; Battle of 
Khanwah, 16-17 ; Babar's 



address to his noble-men and 
soldiers, 17-18; Defeat of 
Rana Sangha and rout of 
Rajput Confederacy, 18 ; 
Importance of the Battle of 
Khanwah, 18-19; Battle of 
Chanderi, 19-20; Battle of 
the Gogra, 20-21 ; Extent of 
Babar's Indian Empire, 21 ; 
Story of his death, 21-22; 
His policy and administra- 
tion, 22-24 ; His Wasiyat to 
his son, 23-24 ; His account 
of India, 25 ; His Memoirs, 
26-27; Fine Arts, 27-30; 
Architecture, 77 ; Poetr, , 28 ; 
Painting, 29 ; Music, 29; 
The art of illustn ting books, 
29 ; Gardens, 29-30 ; Babar's 
achievements, 31-32; His 
estimate, 32 

Baba Khan, leader of the 
Qaqshais 102. 

Badr-un-Nisa, 281 

Badshah Begum, 281 

Badshahnamah, 275-79 

Badshahi Masjid, at Lahore, 373 

Bahadur Shah, R. of Gujarat, 

Bahadur Shah, minor R. of 
Ahmadnagar, 109 

Bahar Khan, 51 

Bahlol Qadiri, Sh., 279 

Bahrain Quli of Gujarat, Instru- 
mental performer, 175 

Bariam Khan (Khan Baba), 72 
ff ; His services to the 
Mughal cause, 77-78; His 
fall, 78-81; 117, 170 

BMt-ul-Mal, 371 

Bakhshi, His duties, 143, 145 

Balban, Sultan of Delhi, 104 

Bapa Rawal of Me war, 93 

Bargis, 344 

Barwan, painter, 173 

Batai System, 230 

Battle (s) of Bahadurgarh, 260 ; 
,Bairowal, 183-4; , Chan- 
deri, 19-20 ; .Chausa, 37, 53 ; 
, Dharmat, 260-1;-. the 
Gogra, 20-21 ;-Haldig:hat, 
97 ; , Kanauj, 38, 53 ; , 
Khanwah, 18-19 ;-, Panipat 
(1526 A. C.), 6-9, 13-14;-, 
PSnipat (1556 A. C ), 75-6;, 
Samugarh, 261-2;-, Sarhind, 
41 ; , Surajgarh, 52 

Baz Bahadur of Malwa, 83-84, 94 

Bernier, 286, 376 

Bhagu, 287 

Bhagvatagita, 166 

Bhagvatapurana, 170 

Bhagwant Goshain, 297 

Bhagwan Das, Rajah, 87,88,106 

Bhakti Movement, 5, 317 

Bhao Singh, Rao, 308 

Bnarmal Kachchwaha, Rajah, 

Bhim Singh, Kumar, 311 

Bhoja, s/o Rajah Surjana Ham, 

Bihari Lai, Rajah, 171 

Bihzad, 174 

Bilas Khan, musician, 174 

Bir Bal, Rajah, 103, 105, 171; 

His house, 177 
Bir Mandal Khan, of Gwalior, 


Bir Narayan, s/o Durgavati, 93 
Bir Singh Bundela, 112-13; 



His rebellion, 225-26 
Bishan Das, painter, 218 
Bitikcht, His duties, 146-47 
Buland Darwaza, 177 
Bundelas, Their rebellion, 225-26 

Caliphate, 114-15 

Calligraphy, under Akbar, 176 

Chahar-taslim, 224 

Chand Bibi (Sultana) of 
Ahmadnagar, 109-10 

Chanderi, Battle of, 19-20 

Chandra Rao of Javli, Rajah, 

Chandu Shah, 184 

Charnock, Job, 368 

Chatar Khan, musician, 219 

Chaubuni Bagh at Lahore, 374 

Chaudhan, 150 ' 

Chaugan ,polo), 393 

Chansa, Battle of, 37, 53 

Chausar, 393 

Chauth, 339-40 

Child, Sir John, 367-68 

Chingiz Khan, 10, 32 

Chira, 161 

Circumcision, 131 

Colleges, see Madrasahs 

Commonwealth of Islam, 114-15 

Communication and transpor- 
tation, Means of, under 
Sher Shah, 60-61 ; -, Akbar, 
151 ; , under the Great 
Mughals, 409-10 

Coryat, 404 

Crori, 156-57 

Culture and civilization, 
Mughal, 379 ff. 

Currency under Sher Shah, 
62-63 ;, Akbar, 151 ;-, the 
Great Mughals, 408-9 

Dabir, 342 

Daler Khan, 266. 333, 338 39, 

Danadhyaksha. 342 

Danishmancl Khan, 284 

Daniyal, P., s/o Akbar, 110-112 

Dara Shikoh, P., s/o Shah 
Jahan, 203, 228 ; His charac- 
ter-sketch, 254; His beha- 
viour during the illness of 
his father. ,257-58 ; His defeat 
at Dharmat, 261-62;-, at 
Samug^rh, 261-62 ; His last 
stand and tragic end, 266-67 ; 
268-69 ; 300, 302, 304 

Dar~ul-Baqa (college), 280 

Darya Khan, Lohani, 51 

Dastan i-Awir Hamzah, 166, 173 

Dastur-ul-Amal, 181-82, 213 

Daswant, painter, 173 

D5ud, s/o Sulaiman Kararani 
of Bengal, 100-101 

Daud Dhari, musician, 174 

Daud Khan, 'Alamgir's general, 

Daulat Khan Lodhi, 9, 13-14 

Dawan Dhari, Sh., 175 

Da war Bakhsh, P., s/o Prince 
Khusrau, 205, 223 

De Laet, 197 

Desai, Amir, 45 

Dharmat, Battle of, 260-61 

Dhrupad, 176 

Dial Shah, 311 

Dlanat Khan, 284 



Diiawar Khan, Governor of 
Lahore, 183 

Dilkusha Garden of Nur 
Jahan, 205, 219 

Din-i-7/a/it, 114-40; Prelimina- 
ries to its promulgation, 
125-26 ; Its promulgation, 
126-27 ; Its principles, 127-28 ; 
Its philosophic review, 128- 

District administration, under 
Akbar. 146-47 ; under other 
Mughal Emperors, 382 

Divine Faith, see Din-i-Uahi 

Diwan. His duties, 142-43,144-45 

niw<'Am. 277 

Diwan i Khas, 277, 371 

Dost, of Mashed, Us'vd, 175 

Dross in Mughal India, 391-2 

Dnda, s/o Surjana Ham, % 

Durga Das, of Mowar, 309 

Durgavati, Rani, 93 

Economic condition of India 
during the Mughal Rule, 
401 f f . 

Education, Progress of, under 
Babar, 22 ; . Humayun, 47 
:-, Sher Shah, 63;-, Akbar, 
149-50;-, Jahanglr,215.16;-, 
Shah Jahan, 27980;-, 
'Alamgir, 372-3 Female 
education, 149 ; Technical 
, 149-50 ; System of, 386; 
Theory of Royal-, 372-3 

Edwardes, William, 209 

Eknath, 318 

Elephant, Corps under Akbar, 

Knayat ullah Khan, 293 

English in India, 208-13, 367-68 
Escheat, Law of, 213 
Espionage, under Sher Shah, 

59.60 ; -, Akbar, 148 ; , other 

Mughal Emperors. 384-5 


Faizi. see Abul Faiz 
Farid, see Sher Shah 
Famine, of 1630-3*2 A.C., 228-30; 

, relief,~404-5 
Fath, Khan s/o Malik Ambar, 


Fatawa-i-'Alawgiri, 371 
Fatwa*, 120-21 
Faujdvr, His duties, 146 
Fazil Khan, Prime Minister of 

'Alamgir, 336 
Fazil Khan i Saman, Amir-ul- 

Vmara, 281 
Fidai Khan, cfficer under 

Jahanglr, 204 
Fidai Khan, 'Alamgir's general, 


Firoz Khan, s/o Salim Shah. 69 
Firoz MewatI, 266 

Gangadhar, Hindu author. 266 
Gardens, of Babar, 2930;, 

Akbar, 174-76;, Jahangir, 

216-18 ;-, Shah Jahan, 278 ; 

, 'Alamgir, 374 
Gentows, 302 

Ghallabakhsha, System, 155 
Ghazi Malik, 104 
Ghias Beg, Mirza, f/o Nur 

Jahan, 194-95 ; 215,218 
Ghias-ud Din Muhammad 

Khudamir, 30 
Ghias-ud- Din Tughluq, 161 
Ghulam Hussain, S., 2 



Gogra, Battle of the, 20-21 
Gokle, Jat, 305 
Gopinath Pant, 327-28 
Gopinath, His temple, 177 
Government, Mughal, 380 ; 

Its functions, 381 
Govind Singh, Sikh GUI u, 363- 


Grand Trunk Road, 22, 409 
Granth Sahib, 183, 359, 361, 366 
Gurmukhi alphabet, 359 


Habib-us-Siyar, 30, 46 
Haibat Khan of Samna, 215 
Haidar Mirza, of Kashmir, 54 
Haldighat, Battle of, 97 
Hafiz Tashqandi, 170 
Hamfda BSnu Begum, Akbar's 

mother, 38, 72 

Hamilton, Alexander, 301-302 
Hamzah, musician, 219 
Haribansa, 166 
Han Das, musician, 175 
Haii Nath, 171 
Har Govind, Sikh Guru, 361 
HarKishan. Sikh Guru, 362-163 
Har Rai, Sikh Guru, 361 
Hasan AH, Faujdar, 305 
Hasan, f/o Sher Shah, 50 
Hasan Khan Mewati, 18 
Hasan, Kh., 43 
Havildar, 344 
Hawkins, Captain William, 

209 ; His account of Jahan- 

gir's reign, 213 14 
Hayat-ul-Haiwan, 165 
Hazari, 344 ; Pan; -, 344 
Hemu, 69 His assumption of 

independence, 74 ; His defeat 

at the Battle of Panipat 

(1556), and execution by 
Bairam Khan, 75-76 

Hijra, 224 

Hmdal, Mirza, 33, 39, 40 

Hindu Beg, Amir, 44 

H u rn a y u n , Nasir-ud-Din 
Muhammad, Mughal Emper- 
or, 16, 22-23, 34 f f ; His 
marriage with Harnida 
Banu Begum, 38 ; Division 
of the Empire among his 
brothers, 33 ; Political con- 
dition of India and his posi- 
tion at his accession, 33-34; 
Kamran'f occupation of the 
Punjab acquiesced in by 
him, H-35; His war with 
Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, 
35-37; His war with Sher 
Khan Afghan, 37-38; His 
days m exile, 38-39 ; , in 
Persia, 39-49 ; Conquest 
of Kabul and Qandhar from 
Kamran, 40; His restora- 
tion, 40-41 ; His accomp- 
lishments, 41-42; His in- 
genious works, 42 ; His ad- 
ministration, 42-44; His 
Drum of Justice, 43 ; Classi- 
fication of the people, 43 ; 
Fixture for giving audience, 
43 ; ^Twelve sub-divisions, 
43-44; Court-Scholars, 46; 
His love of libraries, 46-47; 
Progress of education under 
him, 47 ; His gardens, 47 ; 
His religious beliefs, 48 ; His 
character and estimate, 48- 

Hussain Beg BadakhshanJ, 183 



Hussain, Sh., professor, 46 

Hussdin Shah, R. of Ahmad- 
nagar, 235 

Hussam Shah Sharqi, R. of 
Jaunpur, 176 

Hussain Waiz, M., 166 

Ibadat Khanah, 89, 120-21 

Ibrahim Khan Sur, 69 

Ibrahim Lodhi, Sultan, 6, 10, 
13-14, 16. 19 

Ibrahim, Mir. 30 

Ibrahim, Governor of Bengal, 

Imad-ud-Din, Hussain, Kh. 151 

Imad-ul-Mulk, 36-37 

Indar Singh, 309-10 

Industries, Textile, 405 

Infallible Decree, 121-23; Its 
importance, 123-24 ; Its 
effects, 124-25 

Iqbalnamah, 194, 215, 218 

Isa Khan, 304 

Ishaq Dhari, Mullah, 174 

Islam Khan, Governor of Ben- 
gal. 193 

Islam Khan, Shah Jahan's gene- 
ral, 225 

Itimad Khan, Minister of Mu- 
zaffar Shah IJ of Gujarat, 99 

Itimad Khan, Akbar's minister, 

Itimad-ud-Daulah, see Ghias 


Jahan Ara Begum, d/o Shah 
Jahan, 228, 247 

Jahangir, Nu r-ud-D I n 
Muhammad, Mughal Emper- 
or; His marriage, 87, 98, His 

education under Christian 
missionaries, 91 ; His views 
about Akbar, 138 ; His ac- 
cession, 180; Dastur-ul-Amal 
181-82; Celebration of first 
Nauroz, 182 ; P. Khusrau's 
revolt, 182-84 : Execution 
of Guru Arjan, 184; Loss 
of Qandhar, 184-86 ; Con- 
quest of Kangra, 186 ; Sub- 
jugation of Mewar, 186-88 ; 
Deccan Campaign, 188-91 ; 
Malik Ambar, 189 ; Almiad- 
nagar, 1 ( K)-01 ; Subsequent 
career of P. Khusrau, 190 
92; His character, 192; 
Usman's rebellion in Bengal 
193 ; Bubonic plague, 194 ; 
Murder of Sher Afgan, 195- 
98 ; Jahanjjlr's marriage 
with Mehr-un-Nisa, 198 ; 
Nur Jahan's accomplish- 
ments, 199 ; tier valour, 
199; Tower behind the, 
throne'. 200 ; Her influence, 

200 201 ; Her character, 

201 ; Rebellion of Shah 
Jahan, 201-203, ; of Maha- 
bat Khan, 203-205; Shah 
Jahan's subsequent move- 
ments, 204-205; War of 
Succession, 205-206 ; The 
Portuguese, 207-208 ; The 
English, 208 ; William Haw- 
kins and William Edwardes, 
209; Sir Thomas Roe, 209- 
10 ; Foreign accounts of 
Jahangir's reign and their 
veracity, 210-11 ; t Roe's 
description of Mughal Court 



and its customs, 212-13 ; 
His description of Jahangir's 
personal character, 212 ; 
Hawkins* account, 213 ; Ad- 
ministration under Jahangir, 
213-14 ; Jananglr's love of 
letters. 214-15 ; Literary 
gems of his Court 215 ; Pro- 
motion of education, 215 ; 
Fine Arts, 216-19 ; Painting, 
216-17 ; Painters. 217 ; Ar- 
chitecture, 218 ; Music, 219; 
Gardens, 219 ; Jahangir's 
character, 219 20 ; His love 
for Nurjahan and other re- 
latives, 220-21 ; His refined 
tastes, 221 ; His religious 
beliefs, 221; His estimate, 

Jahangir, Ba bar's younger bro- 
ther, 11 

Jahangir Dad, musician, 219 
Mahal, 177, 218 
, 218 

Jai Mai, 94-5 

Jai Singh, Rajah, 260, 283, 333- 

Jai Singh. Rana of Udaipur, 313 
jalal, leader of the Roshanites, 


Jalal Khan, s/o Bahar Khn, 52 
Jalal Khan, s/o Sher Shah, see 

Salim Shah Sun 
Jalal-ud-DIn Mirza Beg, Kh., 43 
Jamaldar. 344 
Jamal Khan, 50-51 
Jama Masjid, 277 
Jama-i-Rashidi, 164 
Jam Beg, Mirza . of Thatta, 107 
Janb, 153 ;-; System, 250 

Jaswant Singh, Rajah, 'Alam- 
gir's general, 261, 286, 288, 
294 ; His treachery, 308 ; 309 
10 ; 333 ; 338-39 
Jats, Their rebellion 304-5 
Jauhar, Humayun's servant, 46 
Jauhar, rite among the RajpQts, 

Jesuit Missions to Akbar, 89-91; 

, To Jahangir, 207-208 
Jijabai, m/o Shivaji, 319-20 
Jizia, 4, 65, as 292-94 ; 314, 383 
Jiwan Khan, Malik, 267 
Jodhabai, Her palace, 177 
Johar f Smgh Bundcla, 275-26 
Jugal Kishor, rtis temple 177 
Justice. Administration of, 
under Hmnajun. 43 ; Sher 
Shah Suri, 58-59. ; Akbar, 
148-49 ; Jahangir. 180 81,; 
Shah Jahan, 274, ; ShivaiJ, 
343,. 'Alamgir, 371-2 ; under 
the Mughal Emperors in 
general, 382-3; Cham of 
justice, 180 ; Drum of-, 43 

Kablr, religious leader, 400 

Kalilddamnah, 166 

Kalmi Bhakar, 326 

Kam Bakhsh, s/o 'Alamgir, 357 

Kamil Khan. 288 

Kamran, M'rza, 33-35, 39-40, 


Kamwar KhSn, 2 
Kanauj, Battle of, 38, 53 
Karan, Rai, s/o Rajah Amar 
. Singh, 187 

Kama, s/o Rajah Ram, 357 
Karkuns, 147 
Kautilya, 342-43 



Kavi Kulesh (Ka 10 shah), 355 
Khali Khan, historian, 274 
Khair-ud-Dm Rumi, M , 170 
Khali I ullah Khan 284 
Khan Jahan, 'Alamgir's general, 

Khan Jahan Loclhi, Akbar's 

general, 189 ; His revolt, 226 
Khan Jahan, Shah Jahan's 

general, 238 
Khansaman, 143 
Khan Zaman, His rebellion, 83, 

Khan Zamari, Shah Jahan's 

general, 238 
Khanwah, Battle of, 16 ft ; Its 


Khattaks, Their rising, 288-90 
Khawan Saldr, 144 
Khawas Khan, 316 
Khirdafzdndmah, 165 
Khtyal, 176 

Khizvnddr, His duties, 147 
Khudamir, Muhammad, 44, 46 
Khulasat-ul-Akbar, 30 
Khush-hal Khan Khattak, 288- 

90 " 
Khusrau, P. s/o Jahangir, 113; 

His rebellion, 182-84 ; His 

subsequent career, 191-92 ; 

His character, 192, 200-201 ; 

His death, 202 ; Roe on his 

character, 212, 221; Khusrau 

Bagh, 192 

Khwand Mahmud, Kh., 279 
Kishu Joshi, 166 
Koh-i-Noor t 21, 219-20 
Kotwal, His duties, 146, 152 
Krishna j I, 327 

Lala Beg (Baz Bahadur), libra- 
rian, 47 
La il a- Ma] nun, lf>8 

Land Revenue System, under 
Sher Shah, 57-58 ; -, Akbar, 
152-57;, Shivaji, 343;-, 
the Great Mughals, 402 3 
Lashkar Khan, 284 

Libraries, 46, 166, 168 

Litvan, 177 
Lub-ut-Tawankh, 46 

Lutf-ullah, Kh., 42 

Madan Mohan, His temple, 177 

Madanna, Minister ot Qutb 
Shah of Golconda, 350 

Madan Pandit, 318 

Madhu Singh Hada, 241-42 

Madrasahs, of Babar, 22 ;-, 
Humayun, 46-47;, Akbar, 
149 ;, Jahangir, 215-16;-, 
Shah Jahan, 279-80 ; -, 
Alamgir, 372-3 

Mahabat Khan, Mughal gene- 
ral, 187, 199, 20fl03 ; His 
rebellion, 203-4 ; 205,226,284, 
286, 289 

Mahabharata, 165-66 

Maham Ankah, 81-82 

Mahapattar, musician, 275, 278 

Maharashtra, 5, 7, 315-16 

Maheshmahananda, 166 

Mahmud II, R. of Bengal, 54 

Mahmud Lodhi, 20-21 

Mahmud Shah of Bengal, 52 

Majnun Khan Kakshak, 96 

Makhu, musician, 219 

Maldeva of Mewar, 38, 55 

Malfuzat-i-Taimu?i t 1. 



Malik Anibar, 189-91,202 
Mahka-i-Zaman, see Arjumand 
Banu Begum . 

Malik Jiwan Khan, 207 
Malik Masaud, 194-95 
Mallu Khan of Bengal, 54 
Mansabdars, 158-80 
Man Singh, Rajah, 88,97; 103, 

113,159,171, 180,182-83, 193 
Mansiir, Imperial Du&an, 101 
Mansur, Us tad, 217-18 
Manucci, Niccolao. 274 
Memoirs of Babar, 26 27 
Memoirs of Jahangir, 194 
Marhattas, 5, 7, 236 ; Their cha- 
racter and qualities, 316- 
17; Their religion, 317-18; 
Their early training, 318-19 ; 
Their rise and growth under 
Shivaji, 319 ff. 
Masum Farankliudi of Jaunpur, 


Ulawahs, 321 
Mazi, Sh. f 30 

Medni Rao of Chanderi, 19-20 
Mehr un-Nias, see Nur Jahan 
Mian Chand. musician, 174 
Mian Lai musician, 174 
flints, Imperial, 150 
Miran Bahadur, R. of Khandesh, 


Mir Lahon, Sh., 279 
Miran Sadr Jahan, 139-40 
Mir-i-Adl, 149 
Mir-i-Arz, 144 
Mir-i-Atash, 157 
Aftr-t-Bofcri, 144 
Mir-i-Barr, 144 

Mir Jumla, 251-52, 266; His 
career, 284 ; His expedition 

aj;aiiiht Assam, 281-85 
Mir Masum, Mughal general, 


MJrTaqiShaiili, Amir, 170, 
Mohtasibs (censors of public 
morals), 59; Their duties, 
143, 283 

Mojmii'adar, 342 
Monserrat, Fr.. 2. 90 
Mosques, destroyed by Hindus, 

291,293, 306, 311 
Moll Masjid, 277 
Ma'ajjam-ul-Hulddn, 104 
Mu*azzam, Kh., 86 
Mu'fl^zam, P t s/o Aurangzeb, 

see Muhammad Mu'azzam 
Mubarak, fc 119-21, 168-69 
Mubanz Khan, see Muhammad 

Shah 'Adil 
MudSr Rao, 318 
Muflis, Mir/a, 170 
Muflis, 148-9 

Mughal Court, Its splendour, 391 
Muhammad 'Adil Shah, R. of 

Bijapur, 236-37, 252-53 
Muhammad A k b a r , P. s/o 
'Alamgir, 281, 286, 289, 310, 
311; His rebellion, 312-13 
Muhammad Amin, s/o Mir Jum- 
la, 285, 287-88 

Muhammad Amin, Ustad. 175 
Muhammad Amin Oazwini, 276 
Muhammad 'A/cam, P. s/o 

4 Alamgir, 281 ,31 1,349, 357 
Muhammad Fargha.ll, M., 44 
Muhammad Fazil BadafcLsha- 

nl, Mullah, 279 
Muhammad Hadi, 214 
Muhammad Hakim, Mirza, 73> 



Muhammad Hussam, Uslad, 

Muhammad Khan Dhan, mu- 
sician, 174 

Muhammad Mu'axzam, P., s/o 
Alamgir, 281, 286, 308, 311- 
12, 333, 338, 349 

Muhammad Nadir Samarqandi, 
painter, 278 

Muhammad Shahabadi.Sh., 160 

Muhammad Shah * Adil, 09, 70, 
73, 77 

Muhammad Sultan, P., s/o 
Alamglr, 203, 281 

Muhammad Yazdi, Mullah, 124 

Muhammad Xaman, 34 

Muhib Ali Sayyadi, M., 279 

Mukhlis Khan, Amii, 335 

Mukhya Pradhan, 342 

Mullahs, 116; exiled by Akbar, 
131 ; insulted by Rajputs, 

Mumtaz Mahal, see Arjumand 
Banu Begum 

Munawwar, Sh., 105 

Munim Khan, Governor ol 
Bengal, 101 

Munshiat of Abul Path, 104 

Muqaddams, 147 

Murad, P., s/o Akbar, 100, 109- 
10, 112 

Murad, P. s/o Shah Jahan, 203, 
228, 241 ; His character- 
sketch, 255-56 ; His coro- 
nation, 260 : His part in the 
War of Succession, 261-62 ; 

His execution, 264-65, 322 

Muran Jogdeva, 319 

Murshid Quli Khan, 249-50 

Murtaza Khan, 182, 186 

Murtaxa Nizam, R. of Ahmad- 

nagar, 235-37 
Mushaeras, 28 
Mushnf, 144 
Musir. under Babar, 29; Akbar, 

174-76 ; - Jahangir, 219 ;~, 

Shah Jahan.178; -'Alamgir, 

Mustafa. Commander in-Chief 

of Bijapur, 322 
Musta'id K^an, 301 
Muslaufi, 144 
Mu'tamid Khan, historian, 

Mu/affar Hussam, King of Oan- 

dhar, 108 

Muzaffar Khan, Mint Odirer,150 
Muzaffar KhanTurbati, 101, 152, 

Muzaffai Shah 11, U. of Gujarat : 



Xaik, 344 

Najabat Khau, 2A I 
Nail and Damyanli, 165 
Nanak, Baba, Sikh Guru, 359 
Nanak Jaru, musician, 174 
Naqib Khan, 165, 215 
Narsingh Dev Bundela, 304 
Narsu, 318 
Nasim Bagh, 178 
Nasq, system, 155 
Nasrullah Mustafa, 106 
Nathuji, 337 

Nauroz, celebrated by Jahangir, 

182;-, Shah Jahan, 227-28; 

, discontinued by 'Alamgir, 


Navy, under Akbar, 158-59 ; , 

Shivajl, 345 ' 



Nawan Kal Bagh at Lahore, 374 

NayayMish, 342-43 

Nazirl, Sh., 279 

Nazir-i Buyutat, 144 

Nazr Muhammad, King of Bo- 
khara, 240-42 

Notoji Polkar, 338 

Ni'mat-ullah, 215 

Nishat Bagh, at Kashmir, 210 

Ni/am, water carrier, 53 

Nizam Sh., 372 

Nizam ud-Din Ahmad, 164 

Nur Jahan, Empress, 185-86, 192; 
Her birth, 194 ; Her access 
to the Imperial Palace, 195 ; 
Her marriage with Sher 
Afgan, 195 ; Murder of her 
husband, 195 97 ; Her marri- 
age with Jahangfr, 198 ; Her 
accomplishments, 199; Her 
valour, 199; 'Power behind 
the throne,' 200; Her influ- 
ence on the State, 200-201 ; 
Her character, 201 ; Her 
presence of mind and re- 
sourcefulness, 204 ; Close of 
her career, 206, 218, 220-21, 

Nusrat Shah, R. of Bengal, 21 

Ommayads, 114-15, 128 

Ornaments, 392-93 

Painting, under Babar, 29;, 
Akbar, 172-74;-, Jahanglr, 
216-18; , Shah Jahan, 278- 
79;, 'Alamgir, 373-74 

Panchdyat system, 59, 343 

Pandari, a tax, 282 

Piinipat, First Battle of-, fi, 0, 

10, 13-14; Second-, 75-76 
Panchanlantra, 166 
Panj-hazaris, 165 
Parshotam, 165 
Parvez, P., s/o Jahanglr, 187, 

203 ; His death, 205 
Patwari, 147 
Patta, Chittor's hero, 94 
Peacock Throne, 277 
Peshwa, 342 
Peter Mundi, 229, 274 
Pinjor Garden, 374 
Pir Muhammad, 84, 170 
Pirzada, musician, 174 
Pbgue, 73. 194 
Police under Sher Shah, 59; , 

Akbar. 152 ; , other Mughal 

Emperors, 384 
Political condition of India, 

Portuguese ; Their relations 

with Akbar, 89-91 ; , with 

Jahangir, 207-208 ; , with 

Shah Jahan, 230 31 
Postal Service, under Babar 

22;-, Sher Shah, 61 ;-, 

Akbar. 150 ; , other Mughal 

Emperors, 385 
Potdar, see Khizandar 
Pratap Singh, Rana, s/o Udai 

Singh, 97-98 ; 186, 346 
Purandhrfr, Treaty of, 333-34 
Purbm Khan, 175 


Qanungos, 147 

Oaqshals, a Chaghtai tribe ; 

Their rebellion, 101-102 
Qasim Beg, 164 
Qasim Khan <>f Bengal, ?3l, 



Ofisim Khan, Akbar's general, 


Oasim, instrumental performer, 

Qans, 58, 148;, bound and 

shaved by KajpDls, 311 
Oart ul Quzat, 148 
OuHrh Khan, 150 
Qulich Muhammad, 182 
Onr'an, thrown into >vells by 

RajpOts, 311 
Our Bcgi, 1 \4 
Outh nd Din Koka, 100 


Rndandax Khan, 206 
Ragnath. Raiah. *81 
Knhdan. a lax, 282 
Rahmat ullnh, rnusii ian, \1\ 
Rai Karan, Rana, 336 
Rai Singh, Raidh, 338 
Raia Ah, R. of Khandesh, 110 
Rajah Rain s/o Shiva ji, 35f>-57 
Raiah Ram, leader ol the Jats 

Rajputs, defeated by Babar, 15 

Ram Singh, Rajah, 207, 338 
Rana Prasad, 38 39 
Rana Sangha ; His invitation 
to Babar, 13; His defeat, 
Hid; HIS death, 20, 03 
Rand a ula Khan, 322 
Ranilt Singh, Rajah, u 
Rang Mahal, 277 
Rang Sen, musician, 171 
Raushan /Vra Begum. 228, 286; 

Her garden at Delhi, 374 
Itayyaiiwm system, 51, 58 
Kazmndmah. l()5-uo 
Religious features, 305-401 
Roe, Sir Thomas, 2; His view* 
on Akbar's religion. 130; He 
secures trade concessions 
from Jahangir, 200-10; His 
description of Mughal Court 
and its customs, 211-12 ; His 
description of Jahanglr's 
character, 202; His account 
of fine arts in Mughal India, 
Rudolf Acquaviva. Fr. f 00 

ff. ; reconciled by Akbar 86-80; Rustarn Khan, 243-44 

135-36; reduced to submis- 
sion by ' Alamgir, 306-14 

UajtaKingvni, 160 

Kamachant ananas, 171 

Kamayana< 165-171 

Ram Chandra, Rainh of Kalm- 
]ar, % 

Ram Das, Rajah, Akbar's 
general, 182 

Ram Das, Shiva ji's spiritual 
teacher, 318. 320 

Ram Das, Sikh Guru, 360 

Ram Das, musician, 174-75, 278 

Kdmjiwan, Goshain, 208 

Ram Rai, Sikh Guru, 362 63 


Sa'adullah Khan, Minister ol 
Shah Jahan, 241-44,273, 281 

Sarhivo, 342 

Sadiq Halwl, Mullah, 170 

Sadr, 145 

Sartr-i-Sudur. His duties, 143, H8 

Sahm-ud-Daulah, 44 

Sdhm-ul-\furad t 45 

Sahm-us-Sa'adat, 44 

Sahuji, s/o Sambhuji, 337 

Said Khan, Jahanglr's general, 

Said KhanjGovernor'of Kabul, 



Salabat Khan, 226 

Salim P., s/o Akbar, see 


SalimS Sultana, 196-97 
Salim Chishti, Sh., of Ajmer, 

Salim Shah Sun, 40. 44, 66 f f ; 

Reducti on of Malwa and 

the Punjab, 67 ; Execution 

of Sh. Alai, 68 
Sambhaji, 313 

SambhQjl, 335, 337-39, 355-56 
Samugrah, Battle of, 261-62 
Sanapati, 342 
Saracens, 114-15, 128, 130 
Sarhind, Battle of, 41 
Sarainaubat, 342-44 
SarOd Khan, musician, 174 
Sati t rite among the Rajputs, 

prohibited by Akbar, 88 
Satlburj, 177 

Satnamis' rebellion, 305-06 
Sawar, 160 
Sayurgkals, 145 

Sayyad Ali of Mashed, Mir, 


Sayyad All Tabrez, 173 
Sayyad Banda, 328, 330 
Sayyad Bukhara of Gujarat, 279 
Sayyad Khan, 182 
Secret Service, see Espionage 
Serais, 60, 61, 150 
ShSdman, general of Mirza 

Muhammad Hakim, 103 
ShahSb-ud-Din Khafi, 46 
Shahab-ud-Din, M., 30 
Shahbaz Khan, Akbar's gener- 
"~al, 102 ~~~ 
Shah Beg Khan, 185 
Shah Lara, 219 

Shah Ismail II of Persia, 195 
Shah Jahan, Shahab-ud-Din- 
Muhammad, Mughal Emper- 
or, 7, 185-88, 190-9~i, 200-201 ; 
His rebellion, 201-3; His 
subsequent movements, 204- 
6; His coronation, 206; His 
character as described by 
Roe, 212, 215; His accession, 
223; His early acts, 225; 
Rebellion of Johar Singh, 
225-26; Revolt of Khan 
Jahan Lodhi, 226-27; Cele- 
bration of Nauroz. 227-28 ; 
Bamine, 228-30; The Por- 
tuguese 230-31 ; War with 
them, 231 ; Career of Mumtaz 
Mahal, 231-32; Her charac- 
ter, 233; Shah Jahan's 
Deccan policy, 233-34; War 
with Ahmadnagar, 234-36 ; 
Further operations in the 
Deccan, 236; War with 
Bijapur, 236-37 ; Subjugation 

of Golconda, 237 ; , Bijapur, 
237-39; Shah Jahan's Central 
Asian Policy and his attempts 
to acquire his Central 
Asian possessions, 239-46 ; 
Recovery of Qandhar, 239- 
40; Conquest of Balkh and 
Badakh*shan, 240-43 ; Loss of 
Qandhar and failure to 
recover it, 243-45; Failure 
of Central Asiun Policy and 
its results, 245-46 ; Fratrici- 
dal War and its genesis 
255 59; Shah Jahan's be- 
haviour during the War, 

258 59 ; His captivity, 262-63 ; 



H i s administration, 274 ; 
Progress of fine arts under 
his patronage, 174-78; His 
philomathy, 278 79 ; Literary 
jems of his Court, 279; 
Promotion of learning, 279- 
80; His character and 
estimate, 280 

Sh5hji Bhonsla, f/o Shivaji, 235, 
237-38; 247, 31924, 331-32 

Shah Muhammad, Ustad, 176 

Shah Mansur, Kh., 150 

Shdhndmah, 165 

Shah Rukh, Mirza, 106, 159 

Shahryar, P. s/o Tahangir, 165, 
192, 200, 203, 205-6 

Shaikhs, exiled by Akbar, 131, 

Shaikh Mir, 284 

Shaista Khan, ' Alamgir's uncle, 
267, 283; His conquest of 
Chittagong, 285-6; His ex- 
pedition against Shivaji, 
331-32; His dealings with 
the English ; 367 

Shakti (goddess), 364 

Shambhuji, Shivaji's uncle, 321 

Shalamar Bagh, at Delhi, 278 ; 
at Kashmir, 219;, at 
Lahore, 272, 278 

Shamsher Khan, 288 

Shams-ud-Dm Muhauimad At- 
ka Khan, Akbar's Minister, 
82; Stabbed to death by 
Adham Kban, 84 

Shariyat (Muslim Personal 
Law), 116-17, 224, 370, 380 

Sharunavis, 342 

Sharza Khan, 322, 349 

Shastri, 343 

Sher Afgan, see All Qull Istajlu 

Sheri, Mullah, 165 

Sher Shah Sun, 33 34, 38, 46, 49, 
50 ff. ; His early life, 50-51 ; 
His early activities, 51-52; 
Occupation of Bengal, 52; 
Recovery of Bengal by 
Humayun, 52 ; Battle of 
Chausa, 53 ; Battle of Kan- 
auj, 53, Conquest of the 
Punjab and Gakhar land, 
54;-, MSlwa, 5455;-. in 
Rajputana, 55 56 ; Adminis- 
tration, 56 ff. ; Division of 
the Empire, 56-57; Land 
Revenue System, 57-58 ; 
Administration of justice, 
58-59 ; Organization of 
Police Force, 59; Secret 
Service, 59-60; Tariff System, 
60; Means of communica- 
tion and transportation, 60- 
61 : Postal Service, 61 ; 
Military reforms, 61-62 : 
Currency reforms, 62-63 ; 
Works of public welfare, 63 ; 
Architecture, 63-64 ; Sher 
Shah's ideal of kingship, 
65 ; His estimate, 65-66, 152, 
161, 169 

Sher Shah II, s/o Muhammad 
Shah Adali, 83 

Shihab Khan, instrumental 
performer, 175 

Ship-building, industry, under 
the Mughals, 406-7 

Shivaji Marhatta, 5 ; His early 
life, 319-21; His robberies, 
321-22; Seizure and release 
of his father, ' 322-24 ; 



Massacre at Javli, 323 ; His 
alliance with * Alamgir 
against Bijapur and perfidy* 
323-24; His meeting with 
Afzal Khan, 324-25 ; Murder 
of Afzal Khan and rout of 
his army, 325-26 ; Treachery 
of Shivaji, 326-30; His 
conquests, 330; Sultan of 
Bijapur's attack on him, 
330-31 ; His declaration of 
independence, 331 ; His at- 
tack on Shaista Khan at 
night, 331-32; Sack of Surat, 
332 ; Assumption of inde- 
pendence, 332-33 ; His sub- 
mission to ' Alamgir, 333 ; 
Treaty of Purandhar, 333-34 ; 
His visit to the Imperial 
Capital, 334-35; His recep- 
tion, 336 ; His misbehaviour, 
335 ; His imprisonment and 
escape, 335-38 ; His assump- 
tion of the title of Rajah, 
339 ; Exaction of Chauth and 
Surdeshmukhi from Bijaptir 
andGolconda, 339-40; Re- 
newal of hostilities and 
sack of Surat for the second 
time, 340; Coronation of 
Shivaji, 340-41 ; His further 
conquests, 341 ; Extent of 
his Kingdom, 341 ; His civil 
administration, 341-42 ; Ad- 
ministrative divisions of his 
Kingdom, 342 ; Administra- 
tion of justice, 343; Land 
Revenue System, 343 ; Mill- 
tary Organization, 344-45 ; 
His fleet, 345 ; His estimate, 


Shivaji II, 356 
Shivaji III, 357-58 
Shuhrat-i- l Am (Public Works 

Department), 22 
Shuja', P., s/o Shah Jahan, 228, 

241 ; His character- sketch, 

354-55, 260 ; His fate, 265-66 
Shuja'at Khan, Governor of 

Malwa, 67 
Shuja'at Khan, ' Alamglr's 

general, see Radandaz Khan 
Sidl Johar, 330-31 
Sijdah, 127, 131, 134, 224 
Sikaildar Lodfci, SultSn, 13 
Sikandar Sur, 40, 41, 69-70, 73, 

Sikhs, 6, 7 ; Their Gurus, 359-64 ; 

Their religion, 359-64 ; Their 

suppression by ' Alamgir, 


Siledars. 344 
Sinan, architect, 27 
Sipahsalar, 144 
Sipahr Shikoh, P., s/o Dara 

Shikoh, 266-67 
Slavery, 394 
Social condition of India, 


Sri Gian Khan, 174 
Subahs, 144 ; Subahdars, 144 
Subhan Khan, musician, 174 
Succession, Law of, 379-80 
Sukracharya, 342-43 
Sulaiman KararSiti of Bengal, 

Sulaiman, Mirza, Humayun's 

cousin, 33, 74, 104 
Sulaiman Shikoh, P., s/o Data 

Shikoh, 260-61; His tragic 




Sultan Haji, Thaneswari, 165 
Sultan Hashim of Mashed, 175 
Sumant, 342 
Surajgarh, Battle of, 52 
Surat, Sack of, 332, 340 
Sur Das, blind bard, 171 
Surjana Hara, Rajah, % 
Svrdeshmukhi, 339-40 


Tabl'i-Adl (Drum of Justice), 43 
Tabqat-i-Akbari, 164 
Tahawar Khan, 310, 312 
Tahir Khan, Faujdar of Jodh- 

pur, 310 

TaimQr, 10-12, 24, 239 
Tahmasp, Shah of Persia, 39 
Taj Mahal, 232-33, 237, 275-77 
Takht-i-Taus t see Peacock 


Tan Sen, Akbar's Court- 
musician, 174 
Tantarang Khan. Akbar's 

Court musician, 174 
Taqarrab Khan, 355 
Taqqavi loans, 156 
TSra Bai, w/o Rajah Ram, 357- 


Tardi Beg, 75 
Tarikh-i-Badaoni, 164 
Tankh-i-Alfi, 164 
Tarikh-i-Ferishta, 2 
Tariff system, under Sher Shah, 


Tash Beg of Xipchak, 175 
Tatar Khan, 34 
Tauhid-i Ilahi, soe Din-i-llahi 
Taxation, 383 
Tavernier; 274 
Tazkirat'UW-Waqiyat'i - Huma- 

yun, 46 

Tegh Bahadur, Sikh Guru, 363 

Vemple(s) ; of Gobind Dev, 
Gopi Nath, Jugal Kishor 
and Madan Mohan, 177, 304 ; 
, destroyed by 'Alamgir 
(?), 295 ;-> by Shah Jahan, 

Terry, 192 

Todar Mai, Rajah, 88, 99 100, 
102, 105, 151-53, 155, 159, 

Toleration under the Great 
Mughals, 381, 411 

Tomb(s), of Sher Shah, 63 ; , 
Humayun, 177;, Akbar, 
177 ; , desecrated by Jats, 
203. 218 ;-, Sh. Sallm 
Chishtl, 177;-, Muhammad 
Ghaus, 177 ;, Mirza Ghias, 

Trade, Foreign, 405-61 

Tuka Ram, 318 

Tulsi Das, Hindu poet, 171 

Tuzk i-Jahangiri, 139, 214 15 

Udaipur, Treaty of, 313-14 

Udai Singh, Rawal, 18 

Udai Singh, s/o Rana Sangha, 
93, 96-97 

Ulugh Beg, 166 ; His Astronomi- 
cal Tables, 166 

Umar Shaikh, Mirza, f/o Babar, 

Umar Naqshbandi, Kh., 204 

Usman, 193 

Uzbegs, 11-12,85.86,104 

Vakil, His duties, 142. 

Vaman Pandit, 318 



Verinag Bagh at Kashmir, 210 
Von Noer, on Akbar and Ba- 

claom, 133 34 

Wah Baghat Hasan Abdal, 210 
Wahdl, 115 
}Va<ia-Navis, W, 147 
Waqlyat i Rohan. 1()4, 160, 214 
Wasiyyal Hawaii Makhfi, Bfi- 

bar's, 23-24 
War of Succession ; , among 

tho sons of Bahar, 34-35 ; 

, Akbar, 182-3;-, Jahangir, 

205-6;-, Shah Jahan, 254 

Woman, status of, 30-1 

Xavier, Fr Jerome, 2 

Yaqfib s/o Yusaf Shah of Kash- 

mir, 107 

YasD Pandit, 318 
Yusaf of Herat, llstad, 175 
Yusaf Shah, R. of Kashmir, 106 
Yusaf/ais, 103, 105 7, 2S7 88, 330 


ZabtZ system, 155 
Zafarnamah. 166 
Xam Khafi, 30 
Xam Khan, Akbnr's general, 


Zannnbos, 224 
^a/, 160 
Zrl) un-Nisa, d/o Aurangzeb, 

2W t 

Zia-ud Dm, Mir/a, 270 
Ximmis, 29^ ff 
Xubdcit-un-Nisa, 281 
Zulliqar Khan, Aurang/eb's 

general, 356 57 



Being an Inquiry into the State of Education During 
the Muslim Period of Indian History 10001800 A C.) 



M.A. (Oxon ), K.R.Hist.8., F.R.S.A., etc. 
Head of the Department of History 
Osmania University 
Hyderabad, Dn. 

(Cloth bound. Pp. 280. Price 5/8 net) 

Available only from S. Muhammad Sadiq Khan, 
Kis^a Kham, Peshawar City 


I RELIEVE it was Fronde who once said something to the 
effect that one should not raise one's pen to write unless 
one can add to human knowledge, and there is no doubt 
that Mr. S M. Jaffar has done a great service to the cause 
of education in general and Indian Culture in particular 
by writing this book on Education in Muslim India arid 
thus made a distinctive contribution to the field of Indian 
historical literature. 

Time was when a student of Indian history had to be 
content with knowing something about warring dynastic^ 
court intrigues, internecine feuds and other matters which 
went to make the ' history ' of this country a subject of 
useless, if not actually harmful, study. Happily we have 
now come to feel the necessity of the whole of Indian history 
being re-written not so much from the point of view of 
occurrences at the capitals of various states as in order to 
delineate the spread of culture and to demonstrate the 
value of its present composite form, so that our people may 
not be Jed away by the false notion that whatever 
paraphernalia of civilization we possess does not go back 
to more than a century and a half. Indian civilization, 
wi f h its real and inherent unity in the midst of its out ward 
diversity, is age-long and not a mere graft, and this is one 
of the great and abiding results of the events which go to 
form the history of India.